Sunday, February 26, 2006

U.S. official: NATO not ready for Israel

Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Feb 24, 2006

NATO is not ready for Israel’s membership, a senior U.S. official said. “I think if this issue were to be put on the table formally within NATO, I think we’d find it immediately very controversial with a large number of countries saying not ready, not now,” Kurt Volker, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs, told an audience on Thursday at Howard University in Washington D.C.

“Solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue first, solve the Arab-Israeli issue first. Israel is not a European country, and after all, NATO is Europe and North America.” Volker said the question was in any case moot because Israel had not asked to join the alliance. NATO was ready to train Palestinian security forces before last month’s legislative elections, which saw a landslide victory for the Hamas terrorist movement.

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