Nato Secretary-General to visit Bahrain on Sunday

March 4, 2010
By

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will make a brief visit to Bahrain on Sunday, his first to the country since he was elected last year to oversee the powerful alliance.

He is expected to deliver a speech at the foreign ministry and hold talks on cooperation between Bahrain and the alliance. The visit will be the second that he makes to the region as Nato chief after attending a conference in Abu Dhabi in October to take part in the seminar on The Middle East and Global Challenges.

Bahrain is a major non-Nato ally since 2002 and, a member of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) since February 2005.

The ICI is an initiative launched by Nato in the Turkish city in 2004 to offer the countries of the region practical bilateral security cooperation with the alliance that will contribute to long-term global and regional security.

Kuwait joined in December 2004, Qatar in February 2005 and the UAE in June 2005. Only Saudi Arabia and Oman are not members of the initiative.

Rasmussen, who became the 12th Nato secretary-general on August 1, 2009, has stressed in speeches delivered in Istanbul and Abu Dhabi the significance of boosting relations between the Muslim world and Nato. Turkey is until now the only country with a Muslim majority to be part of the alliance.

A bid by Bosnia and Herzegovina to join Nato was postponed last December when the alliance decided at the meeting of its foreign ministers in Brussels that it will join the Membership Action Plan (MAP) once it achieves the necessary progress in its reforms efforts.

“It is now not a question of ‘if’ Bosnia and Herzegovina will get MAP, it is a question of when Bosnia and Herzegovina will get it,” the Secretary General said.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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