by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the joint press point with the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres
Mr President, let me warmly welcome you on your visit to NATO headquarters. You have served your country for over sixty years. You won the Nobel Peace Prize for your role in the Oslo Accords. And you are a staunch proponent of peace and cooperation in the Middle East.
Along with six Arab countries, Israel is an important partner of the Alliance in the Mediterranean Dialogue. The security of NATO is linked to the security and stability of the Mediterranean and of the Middle East region. And our Alliance attaches great value to our political dialogue and our practical cooperation.
Israel is one of our longest-standing partner countries. We are faced with the same strategic challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean. And as we face the security threats of the 21st century, we have every reason to deepen our long-standing partnership with our Mediterranean Dialogue countries, including Israel.
We all know the regional situation is complex. But the Mediterranean Dialogue remains a unique multilateral forum, where Israel and six Arab countries can discuss together with European and North American countries common security challenges.
I see further opportunities for deepening our already close political dialogue and practical cooperation to our mutual benefit.
So I would like to thank you, Mr President, for your visit today and for your country’s support to our Alliance.