9 October 2008 - NATO Parliamentary Assembly Seminar in Abu Dhabi calls for stronger inter-cultural dialogue and cooperation [JOINT STATEMENT]
The two-day NATO Parliamentary Seminar on The Middle East and Global Challenges concluded its discussion forums in Abu Dhabi urging for greater inter-regional co-operation and dialogue to address concerns facing the region. Seminar participants agreed that additional work was still needed to reach greater awareness of the Istanbul Co-operation Initiative, which was launched at the 2004 NATO summit to build genuine partnerships between NATO nations and selected countries in the Middle East .
More than 50 Parliamentarians from 15 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) nations and legislators from Middle Eastern and North African countries attended the seminar, and took part in debates on key issues affecting the
Discussions on the inter-cultural dialogue were stimulated by the presentations of Maha AKEEL, Managing editor of the Journal of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Rasmus Alenius BOSERUP, Director of the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute, and Professor Ilter TURAN of
On the security dimension, Micheal Gaul, Deputy Director, Defense Security Economics Directorate, Political Affairs and Security Policy Decision, NATO HQ; and Scott Ritter, former Chief UN Weapons Inspector in
Three differing perspectives dominated their addresses, which focused on NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and security perceptions in the Gulf region.
Both Mr. Ritter and Professor Al Shayji advised more clarity in NATO’s policies in the region, if the
“It has been a very positive experience hosting this seminar in
The seminar, which is part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group’s activities, was held in coordination with the UAE Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group, provides a forum for parliamentarians from NATO member countries and their counterparts in the countries of the