Manama Bahrain and Qatar, the other Istanbul Cooperation Initiative members, have regularly stressed the importance of strengthening their partnership with Nato.
The ICI was launched at the Alliance's Summit in the Turkish city in June 2004 to contribute to long-term global and regional security by offering GCC countries practical bilateral security cooperation with Nato. Kuwait joined the ICI in December 2004, followed by Bahrain and Qatar in February 2005 and the UAE in June 2005.
Kuwait in 2006 became the first ICI country to host North Atlantic Council (NAC) for a conference on cooperation with Gulf Countries. The NAC later took part in conferences in Bahrain in 2008 and the UAE in 2009.
In its 1999 Strategy Concept, Nato said its crisis management was "to deter and defend against any threat of aggression against any Nato member state as provided for in Articles V and VI of the Washington Treaty." Under the crisis management, Nato, in order to enhance the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area, agreed to "stand ready, case-by-case and by consensus, in conformity with Article VII of the Washington Treaty, to contribute to effective conflict prevention and to engage actively in crisis management, including crisis response operations."
The alliance, however, for the first time insisted that its security must go beyond its territories and take account of the global context.