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Israel wants to intensify its cooperation with NATO, Netanyahu said

Statement by Israeli PM Netanyahu and Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO:

PM Netanyahu:
Thank you. I知 delighted to welcome you here Mr. Secretary General. NATO and Israel have been cooperating over many years and we want to intensify that cooperation. We have many common values and many common interests in a time of great uncertainty and shifting sands. I described the events that are taking place between Gibraltar and Pakistan as akin to the earthquake. We know that the tremors are reaching just about every country. They have not affected Israel because we池e a Western country, deeply entrenched in the values of liberal societies that are common to the ethos and the purpose of NATO, so we look forward to cooperating with you at all times, but especially at these times. So welcome to Jerusalem. Thank you.

Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen:
Mr. Prime Minister, Thank you very much for your warm welcome. It痴 really a great pleasure for me to be here in Israel again, now in my new capacity as Secretary General of NATO. I知 here because Israel is a highly valued member of one of our partnerships of so called Mediterranean dialogue. I知 here because we share security concerns and interests when it comes to counter-terrorism, countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. When it comes to missile threat and a risk of disruption of energy supplies and all these areas and all other areas we share security concerns, and finally I知 also here because later this afternoon I知 going to address the Herzliya Conference and I look very much forward to that. I have informed the Prime Minister about the new NATO ?the framework we created at the NATO Summit in Lisbon last November. We decided to further develop our defense capability in areas where we are faced with new threats ?we will develop a NATO based missile defense system. We will strengthen our cyber defense just to mention a couple of areas.

We appreciate very much the cooperation we have with Israel bilaterally as well as within the Mediterranean dialogue and I look very much forward to further strengthening this cooperation in the coming years. Security challenges of today cannot be successfully tackled by any country alone, so we have to cooperate and I look forward to strengthening the political dialogue as well as practical cooperation.

PM Netanyahu:
Thank you. I think this could be an anchor of stability in unstable times and we certainly think that we have a lot to offer each other in these important new technologies, in new areas and fields of endeavors, so I look forward to seeing you again and continuing our fruitful cooperation. Again, welcome to Jerusalem.

Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen:
Thank you.

PM Netanyahu:
Thank you Mr. Secretary. Good to see you.

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