NATO Secretary General to visit Israel

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Following Israel’s cooperation to be one of the first nations to support NATO’s counter-terrorism patrols in the Mediterranean, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday and meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on a three-day visit.

The Foreign Ministry said the arrival of NATO's Deputy Secretary General reflects the organization's desire to strengthen relations with Israel and with other Mediterranean nations.

The visit is hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Atlantic Forum of Israel, which is also hosting a conference on NATO developments and relations with Israel.

The cooperation plan, prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Defense Forces, makes Israel the first among the Mediterranean nations to reach an agreement in cooperation with NATO. Some of the areas of cooperation include the fight on terror, defense against biological and chemical weapons and programs to strengthen emergency evacuations in a natural disaster.

The plan reflects a common ground of interest to strengthen their relations in various fields involving political, strategic and military endeavors. Among the key issues NATO and cooperating nations must deal with is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terror by extremist organizations.

The NATO operation called “Active Endeavor” being held in the Mediterranean Sea was developed in light of the September 11 attacks in the US.

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