On 9 June, the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Ambassador Thrasyvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos paid an official visit to Tunisia in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue partnership. He held bilateral talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Taieb Baccouche, the Minister of Defense H.E. Farhat Horchani, and with the State Secretary in the Minstry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, H.E. Mhamed Ezzine Chelaifa.
Ambassador Stamatopoulos and his Tunisian interlocutors discussed the implementation of the NATO-Tunisia Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, which covers such areas as the fight against terrorism, civil emergency planning, defence reform and defence planning, military cooperation, cyber defence, public diplomacy and science for peace and security. They also discussed common regional security challenges, including the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq, the spread of extremist and terrorists networks, and the strengthening of defense institutions in Mediterranean Dialogue partner countries.
NATO and Tunisia share common security challenges and threats like terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the risk emanating from failing states and they share as well the same aspirations for international security, stability and peace.
During his visit, Ambassador Stamatopoulos and the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Taieb Baccouche, delivered the keynote and opening addresses at a public diplomacy conference in Tunis co-organised by NATO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia.
“In a world that is more and more interconnected and in which our nations face common challenges and threats, only a comprehensive approach to security will prove effective.
NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue is an essential element in this as it provides a regional forum for political consultations and for practical cooperation, bringing together NATO and seven countries from the region. The Mediterranean Dialogue has proven its resilience and relevance over many years and it makes sense to enhance it further.”
The conference brought together senior political and military officials, policy makers, academics and civil society representatives of think tanks, to exchange views on the achievements and future prospects of NATO-Tunisia cooperation, in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue partnership.
L. J. De Rothschild