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USA designated Tunisia as 16th Major Non-NATO Ally

Jul 13, 2015 11:03 IST

The United States of America (USA) on 10 July 2015 formally designated Tunisia as the 16th Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA).

Earlier, the decision to confer the MNNA status on Tunisia was announced by the President Barack Obama on 21 May 2015 during Tunisian President Caid Essebsi’s visit to Washington.

The MNNA status offers tangible privileges including eligibility for training, loans of equipment for cooperative research and development, and Foreign Military Financing for commercial leasing of certain defense articles by the USA to Tunisia.

About Major Non-NATO Ally status

• It is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with U.S. Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
• While the MNNA status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the USA, it does confer a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.
• It was first created in 1989 when section 2350a, otherwise known as the Nunn Amendment, was added to Title 10 (Armed Forces) of the United States Code by Congress.
• List of MNNAs: Tunisia, Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Jordan, New Zealand, Argentina, Bahrain, Philippines, Thailand, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Afghanistan.
• During a 2015 Camp David summit with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, the Obama administration considered designating Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar as MNNAs.

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