by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the joint press point with Željko Komšić, Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mr. Komsic, it is a great pleasure to welcome you here to NATO headquarters.
Our meeting today reflects the importance and value of our partnership.
We thank you for your continued contribution to our mission in Afghanistan, where you have helped make a difference. We are grateful for your additional deployment of 26 military police this January to Kandahar where they are partnering with American National Guard troops.
NATO is committed to the stability and security of the Western Balkans, and we are committed to the Euro-Atlantic integration of those nations that aspire to join our Alliance.
Your meeting today with the North Atlantic Council provides an important opportunity to discuss progress made in your reforms and in your membership aspirations.
As you well know, Allies stand ready to activate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Membership Action Plan. That’s what we agreed to offer you in Tallinn in 2010 and reaffirmed at our Chicago Summit in 2012.
The Membership Action plan will move your country closer to NATO and closer to the Euro-Atlantic community.
We stand by our offer to activate the Membership Action Plan. But only Bosnia and Herzegovina can unlock that offer.
To do so, it must implement the agreement on immovable defence properties. I welcome the efforts under way and your leadership and spirit of compromise to resolve the issue.
We also look forward to progress in other defence reform areas, and for wider democratic and economic reforms to tackle corruption and improve the rule of law. Recent demonstrations reflect a popular call for reforms.
I urge all leaders in the region to show their commitment to reform and reconciliation. Because that will benefit their citizens, their countries and the entire Euro-Atlantic family.