The operation will link the United States and other NATO nations in exercises with the states of the so-called "Mediterranean Dialogue," an enterprise thought up 14 years ago to combine forces to fight terrorism but never yet properly implemented.
In addition to the United States, countries participating in the April 8-22 manoeuvres will include France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Malta, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya.
The operation, codenamed Phoenix Express 2008, aims at joint training in procedures for surveillance of cargo vessels, patrolling and rescue work, said a statement by the Greek naval command in Athens.
There have been previous attempts to revive the faltering Mediterranean Dialogue, aimed at creating a partnership to fight terrorism and promote cooperation in both civil and military areas.
NATO agreed on a Mediterranean dialogue in 1994 with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, but the programme was never properly developed.
In 1994, NATO heads of state and government meeting in Istanbul decided to relaunch the initiative as part of efforts for peace in the Middle East.
Last Mod: 02 Nisan 2008, 14:53