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28 June 2004

NATO Offers Security Partnership with Broader Middle East

Fact sheet on Istanbul Cooperation Initiative launched at NATO Summit June 28

North Atlantic Alliance leaders meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, have offered a variety of "practical security cooperation activities" with states throughout the Broader Middle East as part of NATO's response to the new challenges of the 21st century.

Following is a White House fact sheet on the new Istanbul Cooperation Initiative issued June 28 in conjunction with the NATO Summit in Istanbul:

(begin fact sheet)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Istanbul, Turkey)
June 28, 2004

FACT SHEET
THE ISTANBUL COOPERATION INITIATIVE

NATO leaders have decided today to launch the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, an offer to engage in practical security cooperation activities with states throughout the Broader Middle East. This new initiative stands alongside NATO's long-standing Partnership for Peace program and Mediterranean Dialogue. These security cooperation partnerships are part of the way NATO is responding to the new challenges of the 21st century.

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) offers practical cooperation with interested nations in the Broader Middle East in such areas as:

-- Counterterrorism;

-- Counter-WMD [Weapons of Mass Destruction];

-- Cooperation on border security to help prevent illicit trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people;

-- Disaster preparedness and civil emergency planning;

-- Training and education;

-- Participation in NATO exercises;

-- Tailored advice on defense reform and civil-military relations; and

-- Promoting military interoperability.

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative complements the G-8 and U.S.-EU decisions to support calls for reform from within the Broader Middle East region.

Alliance leaders also agreed today to enhance NATO's existing Mediterranean Dialogue, which was established in 1994 as a vehicle for promoting cooperation with states in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

(end fact sheet)