Russia and NATO to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism

A meeting between NATO and Russia that ended Friday should strengthen cooperation in the international fight against terrorism, said a U.S. official who co-organized the discussions.

The four-day conference brought together 109 government and military officials from 27 countries in the NATO-Russia Council, said John Rose, director of the George C. Marshall European Institute for Security Studies, which organized the meeting jointly with the United States mission to NATO.

The conference focused on anti-terror measures and the capabilities of individual states in the light of terror attacks in the United States, Turkey, Spain and Russia. It also aimed to find ways to strengthen cooperation in preventing, countering and managing the consequences of terrorist acts.

The representatives "will take back home better understanding," Rose told The Associated Press at the end of the conference. "They will go to their ministries and say: here are some of the actions we must consider doing. Here are some of the training that we should give to ... our military, to our police forces."

Rose said the meeting was also helpful in bringing anti-terrorism officials from different countries into contact with each other.

"It's not just what is going on inside the conference room. It's also important what's going on in the lobby," he said.

The NATO-Russia Council, an organism for consultation, joint decisions and consensus-building based on a principle of equality and common interests, was established under the Treaty of Rome on 28th May 2002. Under this Treaty, consultations are to be held on a monthly basis at the ambassadorial level, half-yearly at the ministerial level and occasionally, at the Summit level (Heads of State).

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