Israel Opens NATO Office in Tie-Strengthening Move

The flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Israel has opened its first office in NATO headquarters, as it develops closer ties with the European defense alliance, Ynet reported on Thursday.

A number of high-ranking NATO officials were on hand as Roni Leshno Yaar formally submitted his credentials to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in Brussels. Israel has been accepted as a partner to the organization but not a member.

IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Yair Golan was also there, the highest-ranking Israeli official to meet with NATO representatives.

While in Brussels, Golan also met with the head of the Turkish Armed Forces General Hulusi Akar. It was the highest-level meeting since the exchange of ambassadors between Yerushalayim and Ankara following signing of the reconciliation agreement.

Bolan also met with several Arab military leaders on the sidelines. Among Arab countries represented at the meeting were Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco and Tunisia.