NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

12 Oct. 200513 Oct. 2005

Secretary General calls for expanding cooperation with Egypt

On 12 and 13 October, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer paid a historic visit to Egypt, the first vist by a NATO Secretary General to the country.

The visit testified to the importance NATO attaches to Egypt’s contribution to the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue and the country’s strategic role in the Middle East.

The Secretary General met with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Defence Minister Mohammed Hussain Tantawi. They exchanged views on issues of common concern and discussed prospects for further cooperation in the framework of the Dialogue.

Fresh opportunities

Joint ownership; non-discrimination; self-differentiation; and complementarity. These are the key principles that will guide the development of the Mediterranean Dialogue process and NATO’s future relationship with Egypt,” the Secretary General said in a speech at the Egyptian Council on Foreign Affairs.

This completes the first round of visits by the Secretary General to NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue countries. It follows decisions at the 2004 Istanbul Summit to enhance the Mediterranean Dialogue and transform it into a genuine partnership.

"The enhancement of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, and its development into a genuine partnership, opens fresh opportunities -- for Egypt as well as for NATO – to tackle some of the most pressing challenges before us, and to provide greater security for our peoples. NATO and Egypt must grasp those opportunities,” the Secretary General said.