•   Strategic political dialogue between Israel and NATO
    President Peres met with the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in Brussels


    The President of the State of Israel , President Shimon Peres, conducted a work meeting today with the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO headquarters in Brussels. In the meeting, the two discussed the importance of strengthening the strategic cooperation between Israel and NATO in the security and technology fields.
    President Peres briefed the the Secretary General of NATO on the strategic threats that the Middle East is facing with a focus on the threat of a nuclear Iran and Hezbollah. At the beginning of the meeting, President Peres stressed Israel's concern regarding the situation on Israel's northern border and said: "We are monitoring the ongoing attemps to build up weapons by Hezbollah which is stockpiling weapons and missiles for terrorism and war. Hezbollah is sowing destruction in Lebanon and must be seen as a terrorist organization in every way."
    The two agreed during their discussions that Israel and NATO are partners in the fight against terror and the search for peace, and they discussed ways to maintain security in the Middle East and the world. President Peres stressed the need to maintain and increase the cooperation between Israel and NATO and Israel's ability to cooperation and provide technological assistance and knowledge from the vast experience Israel had gained in the field of counter-terrorism, "Israel will be happy to share the knowledge it has gained and its technological abilities with NATO. Israel has experience in contending with complex situations and we must strengthen the cooperation so we can fight global terror together and assist NATO with the complex threats it faces in Afghanistan."
    Following the meeting the two delivered joint statements to the press and Secretary General Rasmussen said, "Mr President, let me warmly welcome you on your visit to NATO headquarters. You have served your country for over sixty years. You won the Nobel Price for your role in the Oslo Accords. And you are a staunch proponent of peace and cooperation in the Middle East. Along with six Arab countries, Israel is an important partner of the Alliance in the Mediterranean Dialogue. The security of NATO is linked with the security and stability of the Mediterranean and of the Middle East region. And our Alliance attaches great value to our political dialogue and our practical cooperation. Israel is one of our longest-standing partner countries. We are faced with the same strategic challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean. And as we face the security threats of the 21st century, we have every reason to deepen our long-standing partnership with our Mediterranean Dialogue countries, including Israel. We all know the regional situation is complex. But the Mediterranean Dialogue remains a unique multilateral forum, where Israel and six Arab countries can discuss together with European and North American countries common security challenges. I see further opportunities for deepening our already close political dialogue and practical cooperation to our mutual benefit."
    President Peres thanked him and said, "Israel is not a member of NATO but is a partner of NATO! We share the same values of peace and security and we also share the same threats. Terrorism today affects the entire world. I congratulate you for all that you are doing as the Secretary General of NATO."
    Top-level dialogue between NATO and Israeli officials demonstrates close cooperation.
    NATO’S Deputy Secretary General, Claudio Bisogniero, will head a top-level delegation scheduled to visit Israel on 23-24 November 2009. The delegation will hold talks with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first time this type of dialogue has been held, in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue, of which Israel has been an active member since 1994.

    Mr. Bisogniero will meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor; the Chairperson and members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee; Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai; the Head of the National Security Council, Dr. Uzi Arad; and with other senior officials.
    The strategic political dialogue will take place in the framework of the Individual Cooperation Programme (ICP) agreed upon between Israel and NATO as part of the Mediterranean Dialogue. The visit of the NATO deputy secretary general reinforces the close relations between Israel and NATO.
  • Photo: MFA
  • NATO Naval Force Visits Israel for Joint Training Exercise, April 2, 2008


    A joint exercise with Israeli missile boats took place yesterday in order to improve and strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the Israeli Navy. Three NATO boats and two Israeli missile boat, the INS Lahav, a Sa'ar 5 class corvette, and the INS Keshet, a Nirit class missile boat, participated in the training exercise. The NATO naval vessels are scheduled to depart from Israel in a few days.

    During the visit, the NATO force hosted a formal dinner on board the naval vessel "Sailihreis', with the participation of Admiral Artugrol, the ambassadors of the countries whose naval vessels are participants in the force, senior Israeli Navy officers and other guests. During the visit, a demonstration of naval capabilities took place, as well as an exchange of information on a range of topics. 

    It is important to emphasize that this year, for the first time, the Israeli Navy posted an officer to NATO headquarters in Naples, to serve as the liaison between the IDF and NATO's southern command. The officer is based permanently in Naples and is responsible for IDF coordination with NATO and the transfer of information between NATO and the IDF. The officer was posted to Naples after an evaluation period over the past few years. The posting constitutes a significant step in strengthening the connection between the IDF and NATO.

    Source: News Desk: IDF Announcement