NATO-Bahrain Public Diplomacy Conference in Manama, Bahrain
On 24 April 2008, the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and the Kingdom of Bahrain organised an International Conference on "NATO-Bahrain Relations and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative", which took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manama.
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 government representatives, 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 implementation of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa delivered the opening address and NATO Secretary General H.E. Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer the keynote address.
During the conference opening session, the Secretary General of NATO and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain also signed the Agreement on the Security of Information. This agreement is a facilitator for the exchange of classified information between NATO and Bahrain.
The conference speakers included, among others, the NATO Deputy Secretary General H.E. Amb. Claudio Bisogniero, the Acting Undersecretary of State for Coordination and Follow-up H.E. Sheikh Abdulaziz Mubarak Al-Khalifa 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 His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa the King of Bahrain, His Highness Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa the Crown Prince of Bahrain, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa the Prime Minister of Bahrain, His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa the Foreign Minister and His Royal Highness Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Chairman of the Allegiance Council of Saudi Arabia.