The British air defence destroyer HMS Duncan and Spanish naval frigate “Victoria” on Friday docked on a NATO mission in northern Israel’s Haifa Port to participate in a joint naval exercise with the Israeli military, Israel Defence reported yesterday.
According to the Israeli army spokesperson, this is the first time a Spanish warship has docked in an Israeli port.
The maneuverers, the army explained, will include meetings between senior officials from the Israeli navy and their NATO counterparts.
The joint exercise “underscores NATO’s commitment to the strategic relationship with the Israel Navy and to the maintenance of stability in the region,” the spokesperson added.
Israel’s relationship with NATO has been defined as a “partnership”, according to the Jerusalem Post. It has been a member of the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue since it was initiated in 1994, along with six other non-NATO Mediterranean countries, including Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.