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Israel Opens Mission at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

FILE - NATO symbol and flags of the NATO nations outside NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Israel has opened a mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels, aiming to step up ties with the alliance led by the United States.

Israeli ambassador to the European Union Aharon Leshno-Yaar presented his credentials Friday to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Israel’s embassy said.

The diplomatic mission is expected to enhance Israel's contribution to the organization, the statement said.

The two men discussed a new Joint Action Plan between Israel and the alliance, the statement said, noting Stoltenberg said he valued the increased cooperation between Israel and NATO in recent years.

Leshno-Yaar stated “the opening of a permanent office reflects Israel's role in promoting peace and stability in the region."

In June, Stoltenberg said it was essential to step up cooperation, since Israel had been an active alliance partner for 20 years.