Opening Remarks by the NATO Secretary General

at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Countries at the level of Foreign Affairs Ministers

  • 02 Apr. 2014
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  • Last updated: 02 Apr. 2014 10:45

Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to open this meeting of Foreign Ministers of NATO and our four partners in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

The launch of our initiative 10 years ago was a clear signal. That the security and stability of the Gulf region is of strategic interest to NATO. Just as the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area matters to the Gulf region.

We need to protect our sea lanes, energy supply routes, and cyber-networks. We face complex and interconnected security challenges, such as terrorism, piracy and proliferation. They are challenges that we need to tackle together.

Over the past decade, our dialogue and cooperation have steadily intensified. From Bosnia to Kosovo, and from Afghanistan to Libya, our Gulf partners have made valuable contributions to NATO-led operations. And we have tailored our practical cooperation to the specific security needs of our Gulf partners.

Today, we will discuss how we can continue to deepen our partnership. And how NATO can work more closely with all Gulf countries. To build a truly strategic relationship between the Euro-Atlantic and the Gulf regions.

And with that, let me conclude the public part of our session. I thank the representatives of the Media for their attendance.