The Kingdom of Bahrain attaches great importance to the important status and role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in promoting international security and peace. In light of these common goals, Bahrain joined the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) since its inception in 2005.
Bahrain and NATO enjoy fine bilateral cooperation at all levels including political and military areas. Instances of this cooperation could be summed up as follows:
Exchange of visits and the participation of Bahrain in a number of workshops and courses:
- A visit to Bahrain by the Commander of NATO College in Rome, Lt. General Wolf-Dieter Loeser from 15-17 March 2010.
- A visit to the Kingdom by His Excellency the Secretary-General of NATO, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen from 7-9 March 2010.
- A visit to NATO headquarters by the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Regional and GCC Affairs.
- A visit to Bahrain by NATO’s Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, in 2008.
- A visit to Bahrain by His Excellency Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Secretary General of NATO in April 2008.
- The signing of on Information Security Agreement in 2008.
- A conference was held in Manama in 2008 on Bahrain-NATO ties within the framework of ICI.
Security in Afghanistan is so important for the stability and security of the region. Therefore, the Kingdom of Bahrain has contributed a team of police personnel to train Afghan police in Afghanistan, based on its belief in the need for intensive efforts of the international community to achieve stability in Afghanistan.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has always taken a positive, open and pragmatic attitude towards the phenomenon of maritime piracy and is absolutely ready to cooperate with NATO to bring peace and stability to the Gulf and the waters off Somalia.
- The Kingdom of Bahrain has despatched vessels from the Royal Bahrain Navy on an unprecedented mission outside our territorial waters to implement the four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 2008. The resolutions call upon all States to patrol the Gulf and the waters off Somalia, where piracy is threatening the growing international shipping in one of the busiest waterways in the world.
- The participation of these vessels came in cooperation with international peacekeeping and counter-piracy operations under the auspices of Combined Task Force (CTF) 152.
- The Kingdom of Bahrain also hosts the meetings of The Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE), aimed at combating maritime piracy, under the US Navy leadership, and with the participation of coalition forces.
Energy security is a major issue in our region and it is necessary to exchange views on how to protect critical infrastructure in this area. It is therefore natural that the Kingdom takes into consideration energy security as one of its priorities and welcomes cooperation and exchange of views with NATO on this area.
individual cooperation programme
The Kingdom of Bahrain stresses the importance of expanding bilateral relations with NATO as part of its efforts to enhance partnership with the ICI, and is pleased to announce that it is currently studying and close to completing an Individual Cooperation Programme with NATO soon.
The program is expected to include all activities of the relevant official bodies in the kingdom.
At a time when the world is turning into a small village, there are common challenges we have to address. Due to this reason and the fact that there is no single nation in the world that is immune against these common challenges, the Kingdom of Bahrain supports political dialogue in the framework of the ICI.
a new strategic concept
The Kingdom of Bahrain followed with interest the process of developing new strategic concept, and hopes that it will take into account all the ideas and the security concerns of interest to the GCC.
It also hopes that it will take into consideration the adoption of consultation and exchange of views on all common issues in order to protect security and political stability in the Gulf region.
cooperation in civil areas
Bahrain believes that cooperation with NATO within the framework of the ICI should extend beyond the area of security and military matters, and encompass fields such as civil emergency, disaster management and training courses for disaster response and civil-military cooperation, in light of the undoubted impact of such issues on national and regional security.