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    Flags of NATO member countires fly during a ceremony at the new NATO headquarters before the start of a summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017

    NATO Trying to Promote Cooperation Between Persian Gulf States Amid Qatar Row

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    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)
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    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is trying to promote cooperation between the Persian Gulf states, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said Monday, adding that the Alliance is more focused on strengthening the countries' defensive capacities.

    LUXEMBOURG (Sputnik) — The statement comes amid diplomatic tensions between Qatar and some of its Arab neighbors.

    "We are doing everything that we can, of course, to facilitate cooperation in the area. But NATO's main focus and main efforts are related to defense capacity building, and we are working with our partners to look for ways to improve their institutions and improve their overall training," Gottemoeller told journalists, when asked about NATO's measures regarding the Qatar diplomatic crisis before the beginning of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

    The Alliance sees "real opportunities here to do defense institution building, defense capacity building, working on important practical measures such as cleaning up unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices that are buried," Gottemoeller noted.

    On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Doha and stopped all communication with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Later, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Mauritania also announced the severance of diplomatic relations. Jordan and Djibouti reduced the level of their diplomatic missions in Qatar. Senegal, Niger and Chad announced the withdrawal of ambassadors.

    None of the countries involved in the crisis are members of NATO, however the organization cooperates with them in different capacities. Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates joined the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), aimed at long-term global and regional security through NATO's practical bilateral security cooperation with Middle East countries. Mauritania, Jordan and Egypt are involved in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, established to promote regional security through dialogue and mutual understanding.

    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)


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