Secretary General opens NATO-UAE Public Diplomacy Conference
On 29 October 2009, the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates organised an International Conference on "NATO-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative", which took place at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
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.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates H.H. Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan delivered the opening address and NATO Secretary General H.E. Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivered the keynote address.
Following the conference opening session, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO H.E. Amb. Claudio Bisogniero and the Chief of Intelligence and Military Security of the UAE Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Eisa Al Mazourei, signed the Agreement on the Security of Information between NATO and the UAE. This agreement is a facilitator for the exchange of classified information between NATO and the United Arab Emirates.
The conference speakers included, among others, the NATO Deputy Secretary General H.E. Amb. Claudio Bisogniero, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State H.E. Ms. Reem Ibraheem Al Hashemy, the Vice President of the National Security Bureau of Kuwait H.H. Sheikh Thamer Mubarak Al-Sabah, the Advisor to H.M. the King of Bahrain H.E. Dr. Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Mr. Jean-François Bureau.
In the margins of the conference the Secretary General of NATO had also bilateral talks with the Prime Minister, Vice President of the UAE, Minister of Defence and Ruler of Dubai H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, with the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.H. Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.