CAIRO, Dec 5 (KUNA) -- The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on
Wednesday stressed the importance of a planned ministerial meeting between the
NATO and Mediterranean Dialogue foreign ministers in Brussels.
The ministry hailed the meeting as a "good opportunity" for Egypt to
present its vision on several issues of mutual interest.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit's visit to Brussels to attend the meeting
on Thursday will come in line with the NATO's plan to broaden its activities
with the Mediterranean Dialogue member countries by putting forward several
initiatives and thoughts to develop dialogue between both sides.
Egypt is closely monitoring such initiatives in order to choose ones its
sees suitable to its priorities, the ministry said.
In this context, he pointed to the organization of several activities and
courses in the field of fighting international terrorism, removing landmines
and search and rescue operations.
The Egyptian foreign minister' visit to Brussels will also allow him to
voice Egypt's positions on the overall situation in the Middle East region,
outcomes of the Annapolis meeting, Iraq and Sudan's Darfur, it added.
NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue was initiated in 1994 by the North Atlantic
Council (2004 thus marked the Dialogue's 10th anniversary). It currently
involves seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt,
Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
The Dialogue reflects the Alliance's view that security in Europe is
closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. It is an
integral part of NATO's adaptation to the post-Cold War security environment,
as well as an important component of the Alliance's policy of outreach and
But, in 2004, the NATO launched another initiative called Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative (ICI), which was initiated during NATO's 2004 Istanbul
During this summit, NATO leaders decided to elevate the Alliance's
Mediterranean Dialogue to a genuine partnership and to launch the ICI with
selected countries in the broader region of the Middle East.
The initiative is an offer to engage in practical security cooperation
activities with states throughout the Greater Middle East. This new
initiative stands alongside NATO's Partnership for Peace Program and the
Mediterranean Dialogue. (end)
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