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NATO official underlines partnership with UAE within ICI

posted on 05/12/2009: 2937 views

Brussels - A senior official at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) underlined the current partnership with the UAE in the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), hailing Abu Dhabi's hosting of the alliance's International Conference on "NATO-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative", last October.

The conference, held in Abu Dhabi on October 29th, provided an ideal chance for exchanging views with the UAE leadership on the current security challenges NATO faces in Afghanistan as well as on the Middle East peace process, noted Nicola de Santis, NATO's head of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Initiative Countries Section in the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, at a press conference at NATO's headquarters.

De Santis expressed thanks for Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, H.H General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces and H. H Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for their initiative to host the said one-day meeting.

Among the most outstanding results of Abu Dhabi October meeting was the intent to drive forward cooperation, at all levels, with the UAE and other partners of the ICI, according to De Santis who cited the signing, in October, the Agreement on the Security of Information between NATO and the UAE. This agreement, the first of its kind between the UAE and NATO, is a facilitator for the exchange of classified information between NATO and the United Arab Emirates.

The Conference brought together the Secretary General of NATO, the North Atlantic Council, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and NATO officials, with high level government representatives, opinion leaders, academics and senior scholars from countries in the Gulf region invited in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

The aims of this conference were to promote a better mutual understanding between NATO and ICI invited countries and to introduce fresh perceptions and ideas from the region on the way forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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