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NATO Puts Montenegro on Membership Path, Delays Bosnia

Published date: 04.12.2009 16:21 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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NATO Puts Montenegro on Membership Path, Delays Bosnia

By James G. Neuger and Janine Zacharia

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- NATO took another step toward expanding in southeastern Europe by putting Montenegro on the path to membership, while saying the time isnt yet ripe for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The trans-Atlantic military alliance, which waged two bombing campaigns in the Balkans as Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s, said Bosnia is handicapped by political strife between its Serbian and Muslim-Croatian factions.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has more to do, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters after allied foreign ministers met today in Brussels. He said the country will eventually find its home in NATO.

Three Balkan states -- Slovenia, Croatia and Albania -- joined NATO after the wars of the 1990s. A fourth, the Republic of Macedonia, has been offered membership once it resolves a dispute with Greece over its name.

No timetable was set for Montenegro to join or for Bosnia to be declared eligible. NATO also affirmed a 2008 pledge to admit Georgia and Ukraine if and when they qualify.

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