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.
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."
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
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
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.