Tue, Sep 20, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Security conference draws experts linked to NATO

Staff writer, with CNA

Security experts associated with various NATO institutions for the first time attended a national security conference held in Taipei.

A few local think tanks and government agencies were notified before the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday that a group of guests were to visit them, and were told the visits were to be kept secret and held behind closed doors, which aroused curiosity about the identity of the guests.

The secret was revealed after the Institute for Global Security and Defense Affairs (IGSDA), an online think tank, published on its Web site that the “National Security Conference in Taiwan: Global and Regional Security Challenges and Threat to NATO and Asia” was held in Taipei on Monday and Tuesday last week.

The conference was organized by the Taiwan Thinktank in cooperation with the IGSDA, whose members were participating as a team for the first time, according to the IGSDA’s Web site.

The experts in global, international and national security who spoke at the conference were from Italy, Greece, the UK, Belgium, France, Egypt and Japan.

The conference was chaired by IGSDA chairman Sayed Ghoneim, a retired Egyptian general and a fellow at the Nasser Higher Military Academy.

The Web site also showed the Republic of China flag on a map of Taiwan.

When asked why the conference was kept secret, a source said it was the first time that high-ranking NATO experts had come to Taiwan, and because of the sensitivity of their status, both sides had reached a tacit understanding to keep the conference low-key.

The NATO experts came because they are interested in the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and Taiwan’s strategy following the transfer of power to the new government took office in May, so they agreed to accept an invitation, the source said.

The IGSDA, which according to its Facebook page was founded in June, says that it was formed by defense and security experts from around the world to provide objective analysis of global defense and security affairs.

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