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NATO helping Arab Army counter improvised explosive devices

Official says Jordan 'very important partner' for alliance in region

By Mohammad Ghazal - Oct 01,2016 - Last updated at Oct 01,2016

BRUSSELS — NATO is in talks with Jordan to implement the second phase of a project to enhance the capabilities of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army to counter improvised explosive devices, according to an official from the alliance.

“The first phase of the project has already been completed and the discussions currently seek to identify priorities. Jordan is a very important partner for us in the region,” a NATO official told The Jordan Times at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels following a review of NATO projects in several countries in the MENA region. 

During the recent meeting, officials also reviewed a project to train hundreds of Iraqi officers at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre.

The second phase of the project will be implemented in early 2017, the NATO official told The Jordan Times.

“We highly value our relationship with Jordan [and] will continue to work with the Kingdom in various areas,” the official, who preferred anonymity, added.

“The first phase was very successful and we will examine training needs,” he said.

At the 2014 NATO Wales Summit, the allies identified five countries as eligible for an enhanced opportunities partnership for dialogue and cooperation, namely Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden.

The alliance said these partners are making "particularly significant contributions" to NATO operations.

The official added that a project by NATO to help Jordan fend off any possible cyber threat by the Daesh terror group is also in the final stages and about to be completed.

The project, which started in 2014, sought to strengthen the cyber defence capabilities of the Kingdom.

The project, dubbed “NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS)”, involved a joint team of cyber experts setting up cyber defence at Jordan’s key infrastructure points, such as electricity grids, dams, the energy network and more, the alliance said in a statement on its website.

The NATO said Jordan is an active partner in the SPS Programme. At present, the leading areas for cooperation include cyber defence and counter-terrorism.

Jordan has been actively engaged within the framework of the programme since 1998.

 

The NATO SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations by facilitating international efforts to meet emerging security challenges, supporting NATO-led operations and missions, and advancing early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises.

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