Thursday, 3 April 2008

NATO in the Balkans

A Senior US Offical briefed last night on the background to the Summit. He mentioned a somewhat overlooked aspect of the enlargement process. Once countries have joined the Partnership for Peace, they then move to an Intensified Dialogue with NATO, before the Membership Action Plan that takes them towards NATO membership. As the official said, two countries will likely be moved to the Intensified Dialogue stage at this Summit:

Montenegro has asked for an Intensified Dialogue, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is, of course, the second step, from Partnership for Peace to Intensified Dialogue. And it was, I think, widely supported that they should be accepted. There's clearly broad support for that, and I'd expect you'd see that decision tomorrow -- and also that the door should remain open to Serbia. And it should be clear to Serbia that they have been in Partnership for Peace and that NATO extends them an Intensified Dialogue as soon as they step forward and say they want it. Countries were very strong on the need to keep open for Serbia the prospect of becoming a part of European and transatlantic institutions.

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