Mon   16 Jul 2018   Search
NATO condemns Iran’s destabilising activities
07 : 02 AM - 12/07/2018
Brussels, July 12 (BNA): The heads of state and government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) said they were concerned by Iran’s financial support of terrorism, including armed groups.
The NATO leaders also reiterated their support of Bahrain and other partner countries in the region as part of initiatives by the alliance towards a more strategic, focused, and coherent approach to the Middle East and North Africa.
“We are concerned by Iran’s intensified missile tests and the range and precision of its ballistic missiles and by Iran’s destabilising activities in the wider Middle East region,” the leaders said in the Brussels Declaration issued at the end of their first day of their two-day summit in the Belgian capital.
“We call upon Iran to refrain from all activities which are inconsistent with Security Council Resolution, including all annexes. We are committed to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme remains peaceful, in line with its international obligations and commitments to never seek, develop, or acquire a nuclear weapon. We underscore the importance for Iran to continue to fully cooperate in a timely manner with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”
NATO also criticised support of extremism and financial support of terror groups.
“We condemn all financial support of terrorism, including Iran’s support to a variety of armed non-state actors. We also call upon Iran to play a constructive role by contributing to efforts to counter terrorism and achieve political solutions, reconciliation and peace in the region,” they said.
The Brussels Declaration also reiterated NATO’s willingness to strengthen its cooperation with its partners in the region.
“We have today endorsed a Package on the South, which includes a range of political and practical cooperation initiatives towards a more strategic, focused, and coherent approach to the Middle East and North Africa, a region facing a multitude of complex threats and challenges, which in turn affect our security,” the NATO leaders said.
“Within that overall strategic aim, we are pursuing three main objectives: to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence against threats emanating from the south, to contribute to international crisis management efforts in the region, and to help our regional partners build resilience against security threats, including in the fight against terrorism.”
NATO said it remained committed to building a stronger and more dynamic relationship with its Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) partners, including to help them modernise their defence and security institutions.
The MD was launched in 1994 and the ICI in 2004 to build stronger ties and cooperation between NATO and Mediterranean countries and NATO and Arabian Gulf countries, including Bahrain.
“Today, we declared Full Capability of our Regional Hub for the South in Naples. The Hub will contribute to our situational awareness and understanding of regional challenges, threats, and opportunities; support the collection, management, and sharing of information; coordinate NATO’s activities in the south; and reach out to partners. Enhanced planning and exercises will help improve our ability to anticipate and respond to crises in the region.”
The leaders added that the NATO-ICI Regional Centre in Kuwait allowed them to work more closely with partners in the Gulf region to enhance regional security and counter shared threats. The centre was opened in January last year.
“We are also working to further develop our relations with the League of Arab States and the Gulf Cooperation Council, and look forward to strengthening our cooperation with the AU, so we are better able to respond to common threats and challenges.”
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