Former Italian FM, NATO hopeful, stumps in Rome

Frattini pushes for more openness with Middle East

Former Italian FM, NATO hopeful, stumps in Rome

Rome, April 8 - Former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini, a candidate to become the next secretary-general of NATO, pushed for the military alliance to be more open to cooperation with other international bodies on Monday. Frattini, who served under ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi of the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, was speaking at the NATO Defense College in Rome. He is the current president of the Italian Society for International Organization. He stressed that NATO, which includes 28 member states, should embrace relations with countries in North Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East at large, via NATO-backed initiatives such as the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Council, as well as other international bodies such as the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League and the African Union. Frattini also had a closed-door meeting with Arne Dalhaug, head of the college.

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