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.
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.