Clinton: All Future NATO Summits Should Be Expansion Summits
May 22, 2012
NATO membership should grow at next summit, Hillary Clinton says
NATO should expand its membership at the next summit of the military alliance, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday at the start of a meeting with aspirants Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia and Montenegro at a summit in Chicago, DPA reported.
“I believe this summit should be the last summit that is not an enlargement summit,” Clinton said. The next meeting of the NATO leaders has yet to be scheduled.
Macedonia is the closest to NATO membership, hindered only by a dispute with Greece over the name of the country. Georgia has also made progress towards accession, but is still expected to resolve differences with neighbouring Russia. Bosnia and Montenegro are working on implementing reforms required by the alliance.
“We know it can be a lengthy and challenging process, but we need to stick with it,” Clinton said.
May 22, 2012
Clinton on Georgia’s NATO Aspirations
Tbilisi: Parliamentary elections this October and presidential election next year are additional opportunities for Georgia to show its commitment to democratic values, Hillary Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, said on May 21.
She made the remarks while speaking at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers with counterparts from four aspirant countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina; Montenegro, Macedonia and Georgia – held on the final day of the two-day NATO summit in Chicago.
Clinton said that this meeting was a reaffirmation of NATO’s commitment to open door policy, adding: “I believe this summit should be the last summit that is not an enlargement summit.”
The U.S. Secretary of State then spoke specifically on each of the four aspirant countries.
On Georgia she said, that the Allies were “very grateful for its contribution” to ISAF and noted that Georgia would become the largest non-NATO contributor to the Afghan operation this fall:
“Georgia has made democratic reforms, and the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections are additional opportunities for Georgia to show the world that it is committed to NATO’s democratic values,” Clinton said.
“We stand firm in our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We welcome Georgia’s non-use of force pledge, and we call on Russia to reciprocate with its own pledge. We stand by the Bucharest decision and all subsequent decisions on Georgia,” the U.S. Secretary of State said.
The meeting of NATO and aspirant countries’ foreign ministers was chaired by NATO Deputy Secretary General, Alexander Vershbow, who said that these four countries had “a special place among NATO’s partners”.
“Today’s meeting demonstrates how strongly your four countries are linked to the Alliance and how much we want to further strengthen those ties,” Vershbow told the foreign ministers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia.