A framework plan for special cooperation with Israel (ICP) was recently concluded at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto-Rizz, will arrive on Sunday (Oct 22) for a three-day visit to Israel. The visit follows the approval of a framework plan for special cooperation with Israel (ICP) recently concluded at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. During his visit in Israel, the ambassador will meet with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni.

The arrival of NATO’s Deputy Secretary General reflects the organization’s desire to strengthen relations with Israel and with other Mediterranean states. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting the visit, in cooperation with the Atlantic Forum of Israel, which is also hosting a conference on developments in NATO and relations with Israel.

The cooperation plan, which was prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Defense and the IDF, makes Israel the first among the Mediterranean member states to reach an agreement on special cooperation with NATO. The plan reflects the common interest of NATO and Israel to strengthen their relations in various fields of political, strategic and military endeavor.

Topping the challenges that Israel and the other NATO states must deal with are the issues of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of terror by extremist organizations. It was agreed that Israel would take part in the NATO operation called "Active Endeavor" being held in the Mediterranean Sea. The operation was developed in the wake of of NATO’s immediate reaction to the 9/11 attack in the United States in 2001.

A summit meeting of NATO member states is scheduled to take place in Riga in November. One of the main topics on the agenda will be the partnership between NATO and states in the region.