The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced that Canada has ratified the protocols of accession to NATO for Albania and Croatia, helping move the two countries closer to membership in the alliance.
"Canada has been a strong supporter of the NATO membership goals of Albania and Croatia, and ratification of these protocols is the firmest expression of this support," said Minister Cannon. "It sends a clear message that will inspire other NATO aspirant countries to continue on the path of integration and reform."
"The addition of new members strengthens Euro-Atlantic security, and we look forward to welcoming Albania and Croatia into NATO," said Minister MacKay.
Both ministers expressed Canada's support of NATO's Open Door Policy, which demonstrates the alliance's readiness to accept new members from among European democracies. At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, NATO leaders committed to completing the ratification process without delay. This would enable Albania and Croatia to participate as allies at the next NATO Summit, to take place in Strasbourg-Kehl, in April 2009.
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