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Foreign Minister Paet in Wales: NATO is looking towards further enlargement
At the Foreign Ministers' Meeting held today in Wales with candidate countries for membership in the Alliance Georgia, Macedonia*, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of the NATO summit, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that NATO enlargement has greatly increased stability and security in Europe.
Paet stated that Estonia supports the continuation of accession negotiations with Montenegro, which would lead to accession to the Alliance as soon as possible. "Hopefully this will occur at the end of next year," Paet said, adding that it would be a good example for other countries.
According to Paet, NATO's door is open to Georgia.
"Preparations for Georgia joining NATO have already come very far," Paet said, adding that Georgia has made important contributions to NATO operations and has carried out a number of necessary reforms.
Estonia hopes accession negotiations with Macedonia* will begin immediately, Foreign Minister Paet stated, once the name dispute with Greece finds a solution. "We encourage further efforts to resolve the name issue, since it is virtually the only obstruction to joining," Paet said, adding that progress in NATO’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina is also important.
Paet said that the Alliance's enlargement has greatly increased Europe's stability and security. "It is important to ensure the continued credibility of NATO's enlargement policy," he added.
Today and tomorrow the NATO summit will be ongoing in the UK in Wales, where the Alliance's response to the worsening security situation in Europe will be under discussion. An assessment will be made concerning the activities of Russia in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea and the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. NATO's partnerships and future actions in Afghanistan will also be discussed.