IDF chief to urge better cooperation at NATO meet

Ashkenazi to focus on Iran, volatile situation in Gaza and need to enhance UNSC Resolution 1701.

Ashkenazi 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Ashkenazi 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will offer NATO members a chance to study and use Israeli counter-terror tactics and military technology during a two-day conference the military alliance is convening in Brussels starting Wednesday. Ashkenazi will meet with the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, on the sidelines of the conference. A meeting with the Russian military chief was canceled, as Moscow has decided not to participate in this year's conference - a decision Israeli officials said was likely due to Georgian participation. In his talks with his international counterparts, Ashkenazi will focus on the Iranian nuclear program, the volatile situation in the Gaza Strip and the need to enhance United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which Israel claims is not being enforced in southern Lebanon. He will lay out Israel's strategic outlook on the Middle East and call for greater military cooperation in countering the various threats. In addition to Mullen, whom Ashkenazi has met several times before and most recently during his first state visit to Washington earlier this year, the IDF chief will sit down privately with the commanders of the German, Britain, Turkish, Spanish, French and Polish militaries. Ashkenazi's trip to Brussels - his second as chief of staff - comes amid a strengthening of ties between Israel and the Western military alliance. In the past year, Israel has hosted a number of NATO workshops in Tel Aviv, the latest of which focused on unmanned aerial vehicles. In the next few months, another workshop will be held in Israel for all NATO members, dealing with logistic supply.