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NATO Opens Regional Center in Kuwait

NATO to Open Regional Center in KuwaitNATO to Open Regional Center in Kuwait

The first North Atlantic Treaty Organization Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Regional Center opened in a high-profile ceremony on Tuesday in Kuwait.

The country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah and NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg presided over the ceremony held in the Mushref Diplomatic Area.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Abdul Lateef Al Zayani, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa and the Chief of Kuwaiti Security Bureau Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah were among dignitaries and diplomats who attended the event, Kuwait News Agency reported.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called for boosting security cooperation with the Persian Gulf states.

The center is based on the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which was launched by the NATO leaders in 2004 and aims to boost security links with the Middle East, in particular Persian Gulf Arab states.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE are members of ICI while the remaining two (P)GCC states—Saudi Arabia and Oman—plan to join.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah said the region is facing serious challenges that require cooperation with international organizations.

Following the opening ceremony, an accord for the establishment and operation of the ICI center was signed by Sheikh Sabah and Stoltenberg.

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