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Israel to upgrade ties with Nato

Updated May 05, 2016

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel would upgrade its ties with the 28-member Nato military alliance by opening a permanent mission to its Brussels headquarters.

“Israel will accept the invitation and open an office, in the near future,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

“The countries of the world want to cooperate with us because of our determined fight against terror, our technological know-how, our intelligence network and other things,” his office quoted him as saying.

Nato announced on Tuesday that it agreed that “an official Israeli mission be established at Nato headquarters” with the Israel’s EU envoy as head of the mission.

An Israeli expert said that the move was a result of pressure from other Nato members on Turkey, which joined in 1952, to drop its veto on closer alliance ties with its former ally.

“It’s a Turkish confidence-building measure vis-a-vis Israel,” said Tommy Steiner, an expert on Nato-Israel ties at the Institute for Policy and Strategy near Tel Aviv.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2016