Israel denies Turkey’s veto over new relationship with NATO

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, February 9, 2011

From Yaakov Katz, the Jerusalem Post: The possibility of opening an Israeli mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels is still “on the table” government officials said on Monday in response to Turkish claims that Ankara had succeeded in vetoing the initiative. . . .

“We do not know of any veto or of the possibility that one country can veto an offer that was made by NATO,” one government official said. . . .

Israeli is also seeking to receive an upgraded status following the conclusion of a Strategic Concept review the military alliance is currently conducting that will enable Israeli officials to participate in top NATO forums even though Israel is not a member of the alliance but is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, which was created in 1994 to foster ties with Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco

Earlier this year, NATO extended invitations to all of the countries involved in the Mediterranean Dialogue and other non-membership forums to open offices at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Defense officials said that the offer was still relevant and that it was being “positively considered” by the government. It is still unclear what the rank of the Foreign Ministry or Defense Ministry official will be who would man the mission if established.  (photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty)

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