KUWAIT -- On his part, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah voiced pleasure for Kuwait to host the regional center of the NATO's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
He said the center would play a key role in the fulfillment of the initiative's goals through the promotion of cooperation between the members of the NATO and the initiative in the fields of strategic analysis, military cooperation, civil emergency, public diplomacy and people's awareness.
He pointed to the center's role in following up the individual cooperation program and the transit agreement between Kuwait and the NATO, hoping that it would be opened in the last quarter of this year.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled added that he and the NATO chief had met His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and listened to his views about the significance of fruitful cooperation between Kuwait and the NATO.
He quoted His Highness the Amir as appreciating efforts being exerted to strengthen existing cooperation between Kuwait the NATO.
On talks between His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Stoltenberg, he said they discussed the steady growth of close cooperation between Kuwait and NATO and stressed the necessity of doubling efforts to address regional and global challenges.
Kuwait joined the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in 2004, which aims to promote and deepen partnership between the NATO and Middle East countries, mainly GCC ones, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled noted.
Over the last 12 years, Kuwait and the NATO have worked together within the framework of fruitful cooperation in all aspects, including the exchange of expertise and personnel training, as well as security, military, civil and academic cooperation, he boasted.
Since the initiative was launched, Kuwait has participated in over 90 training courses, workshops and conferences organized by the NATO, he said, noting that Kuwait hosted the region's first NATO conference in December 2006. (pickup previous)