At the meeting of the NATO foreign ministers and the foreign ministers of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia held in Chicago yesterday, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet noted that thus far NATO enlargement has been a success story and has increased the security and well-being of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. “Therefore it is important that NATO remain open to all those who wish to join and who fulfil the necessary criteria for joining the alliance,” said Paet.
Foreign Minister Paet expressed hope that the 2014 NATO summit would bring new members to the organisation. Paet said that the NATO candidate countries Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro have made remarkable progress in carrying out political, economic, and security-related reforms. “The candidate countries deserve recognition for the efforts they have made, and they must be allowed to become NATO members. We also value their contribution to NATO operations,” said Paet.
The foreign minister also emphasised that all the candidate countries must continue making reforms. “Democratic institutions, following the principles of rule of law, a lively civil society, and a free market economy are the goals that must be fulfilled in order to join the alliance,” said Paet. “We remain prepared to offer both political and practical support to the candidate countries to help them reach these goals,” he added.