Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce that today Montenegro has been granted its request to join the Membership Action Plan. And a clear message has been given to Bosnia Herzegovina: Bosnia-Herzegovina will join MAP, once it achieves the necessary progress in reform.
I congratulate Montenegro on their success. It’s the result of hard work. And with a sustained effort at further reform, today’s invitation to join the Membership Action Plan will be a stepping stone to the ultimate goal: full membership in NATO.
The Allies are united in their view that Bosnia-Herzegovina must and will also find its home in NATO. It is not a question of if, but when. We recognise that there is support across the political spectrum to join the Alliance – which, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is an important achievement. And we welcome the progress that has been made in defence reform. The fact that three armies that so recently fought each other are now one, under one Defence Ministry, is a real achievement.
But it is also true that Bosnia-Herzegovina has more to do. We have therefore decided that Bosnia-Herzegovina will join MAP once it achieves the necessary progress in its reform efforts and we will keep Bosnia-Herzegovina’s progress under active review.
There should be no doubt in Bosnia-Herzegovina: we want to see you in MAP, and to see you in NATO. We understand the importance for the country, and for the region. And we will work hard to support your hard work, to make it possible as quickly as possible.
So I would like to send a strong message to the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to the politicians of Bosnia-Herzegovina. By today’s decision we have shown confidence in you. Now we expect you to live up to this confidence to move forward in developing a well-functioning and united society and release the full potential of your country in a joint effort to the benefit of all people and communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.