NATO and the United Arab Emirates reinforced their partnership and set out their priorities for future cooperation by signing an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) on Wednesday , reported NATO official website.
During a signing ceremony with Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, the Secretary General stressed the importance of NATO’s cooperation with the UAE, also praised the UAE for its role as a valuable NATO partner in projecting international security and stability: from Kosovo, to Afghanistan to Libya.
The Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme takes NATO-UAE political and practical cooperation further, setting out in detail more areas for enhanced bilateral engagement, including through political dialogue and practical cooperation in NATO-led operations and missions, enhanced interoperability, crisis management, civil emergency planning, capacity building, counter-terrorism, education and training.
NATO’s role in Gulf region
According to Christian Koch, the director of the Gulf Research Centre Foundation, Nato should further be seen as a future element in the provision of security for the Gulf region as a whole, in particular as the United States adjusts its defence posture and lessens its military footprint overseas.
He said in an article published by Gulf news website, that the closer NATO-GCC relationship will be an important signal to Iran that the security of the region remains of paramount interest to the west and that any rapprochement with Iran, even economically, will be contingent on Tehran ultimately becoming a responsible contributor to the Gulf security community.
He added that “NATO can contribute to the functional debate on Gulf security in three critical areas: improving regional collective defense mechanisms, strengthening the crisis management capabilities of the GCC states, and outlining approaches to future cooperative security methods to be considered,”.
This new field of cooperation is added to the other areas of practical cooperation such as counter-terrorism and border, maritime and cyber security.