NATO is not obliged to come to the aid of partner Israel if Iran attacks, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg revealed, amid rising tensions between the Middle East rivals.
Mr. Stoltenberg told Der Spiegel magazine Saturday that while Israel is an active partner of the U.S.-led alliance, it is not a full member and NATO’s “security guarantee” therefore doesn’t apply to the Jewish state.
Mr. Stoltenberg said NATO isn’t involved in Mideast peace efforts or in conflicts in the region, therefore it is not obliged to come to the aid of any state there. “This is not our job,” he stressed.
“Israel is our partner, but not a member of NATO. The security guarantee of Article 5 does not apply to Israel, he told the magazine.
Article 5 of NATO’s treaty stipulates that an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies, but it does not apply to those designated only as “partners” of the alliance.
Israel opened a mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels in 2016 as part of efforts to boost cooperation with the alliance to counter extremist violence.
As Breitbart News reported, Mr. Stoltenberg said at the time Israel had been an active alliance partner for 20 years and it was “essential” to step up cooperation and go a step further.
“Violence in North Africa and in the Middle East is a clear threat to all our nations…. It is vital that countries which share the same values … stand together against hate and terrorism,” Mr. Stoltenberg told reporters alongside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at NATO headquarters when the Israeli liason office was officially opened.
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