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NATO-Industry Forum 2013 Held In Istanbul

This year's NATO-Industry Forum was held at the Turkish city of Istanbul on Thursday, with senior officials from the western military alliance as well as representatives from the international defense industry in attendance.

This year's forum focused on the need for a closer dialogue between NATO and the defense industry to ensure that the western military alliance receives the best value for money in an era of budgetary constraints.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and the Turkish Ministry of Defense Under Secretary Murad Bayar opened the forum's plenary session which included a video message from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The NATO Secretary General stressed in his message that effective defense requires effective capabilities, and added: "To deliver such effective capabilities an effective defense industry matters very much too."

Rasmussen also called on forum participants to come up with concrete proposals to contribute to the preparation for next year's NATO Summit in the United Kingdom, which will focus on ensuring that the Alliance has the right range of capabilities needed to face the security challenges of the future.

In his opening address to the Forum, Alexander Vershbow called on senior representatives from the international defense industry and governments to forge closer ties with each other.

"We are faced with increasingly complex global security challenges and shrinking defence budgets in many of our NATO nations. These two factors combined mean that effective security today requires a new level of multinational cooperation," Vershbow said.

Stressing that NATO was keen "to promote a new level of cooperation" between Allies and the defense industry, he added: "Today's forum will help us to identify how best to deliver the capabilities we need to ensure the Alliance can continue to provide for our security well into the future."

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