NATO launches training initiative for Mediterranean and Middle East

  • Last updated: 10 Dec. 2009 11:51

On the second day of the Riga Summit, NATO leaders launched a Training Cooperation Initiative offering to share NATO training expertise with partners in the Mediterranean and in the broader region of the Middle East.

The Alliance declared itself ready, in the spirit of joint ownership, and taking into account available resources, to share its training expertise with its Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) countries.

Phased and evolutionary approach

An initial phase will include expanding MD and ICI countries' participation in relevant existing NATO training and education programmes, partnership tools to meet the needs of Allies and partner countries, and possibly as early as next spring the establishment of a Middle East faculty at the NATO Defense College in Rome.

As a second phase, NATO could consider supporting the establishment of a Security Cooperation Centre in the region, to be owned by the MD and ICI countries, with regional funding and NATO assistance.