Joint press statements

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin

  • 21 Jun. 2016 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 21 Jun. 2016 17:25

(As delivered)

President Rivlin,

It is a great honour and a great pleasure to welcome you here to the NATO Headquarters and we have just finished very constructive talks where we have addressed common challenges and how we can further enhance the cooperation between NATO and Israel.

NATO Allies set great store by our relationship with Israel.

For more than twenty years, Israel has been a very active NATO partner through the Mediterranean Dialogue.

The only security forum that brings together NATO Allies with Israel and Arab countries. 

Israel was the first Mediterranean Dialogue country to agree a Security of Information Agreement with NATO back in 2001.

And we also agreed an Individual Cooperation Programme in 2006.

We are now taking our cooperation a step further.

We have agreed to establish an Israeli Mission to NATO, headed by Israel’s Ambassador to the European Union. And this is really an important step and I welcome that very much.

And I very much look forward to the opening of this new mission in the near future.

This is an important step, but it is not the only step that we are taking. 

We have also begun our discussions on how to enhance our bilateral cooperation even further.

Increasing the level of cooperation between NATO and Israel, as well as with our other Mediterranean Dialogue partners, is essential.

The violence and instability that has gripped the Middle East and North Africa in recent years is a clear threat to the security of all our nations.

We have just discussed the evolving security situation in the region.

And President Rivlin, allow me to express my condolences on the recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

Terrorism has touched so many of our cities.

From Brussels to Ankara, and from Orlando to Tel Aviv.

It is vital that countries that share the same values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law stand united against hate and against terrorism.

And that we stand as one in defence of our open societies.

NATO and Israel have a long relationship and we are longstanding partners.

I very much look forward to visiting Israel and to develop an even closer relationship with Israel in the coming years.

So once again, welcome to NATO, to NATO Headquarters and thank you for excellent meetings.