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“The time has come to invite Georgia and Ukraine right now to join the Membership Action Plan,” says President Adamkus at NATO Summit


2008.04.03

Thursday, April 3, Bucharest – President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus attends the North Atlantic Council Summit meeting in Bucharest, Romania.

Before the meeting, President Adamkus met with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and President Lech Kaczyński of Poland to discuss NATO enlargement issues.

The North Atlantic Council‘s working session covered items on the NATO political agenda such as the Alliance‘s enlargement, extension of the Membership Actions Plan to Georgia and Ukraine, NATO operations, and the strengthening of the Alliance‘s capacities.

Talking about NATO enlargement and the extension of MAP to Georgia and Ukraine, President Adamkus underlined that Lithuania is proud to be a member of this successful transatlantic Alliance and that NATO should always remain an effective collective defense organization, whose expanding partnerships and new missions reinforce and consolidate its core function.

“We have a unique chance today to make the Summit in Bucharest a truly historic one by inviting Albania, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to start accession negotiations and by responding positively to Georgia’s and Ukraine’s requests for NATO Membership Action Plans”, said Lithuania’s President.

According to the President, while MAP does not guarantee automatic membership, it is, of all NATO policy instruments, best-suited for the Alliance to help the candidate countries advance their domestic reform process and promote a cooperative regional agenda.

“I call upon my distinguished colleagues not to miss out on this great opportunity to get closer to fulfilling our ultimate goal of making Europe whole, free and at peace. I will be greatly disappointed if we miss the opportunity today to send a clear and right message to these NATO aspirants”, said President Adamkus.

“We keep saying that the two countries, Ukraine and Georgia, are welcome at the Alliance, but I don’t understand our hesitation to state explicitly that the time has come to invite them right now to join the Membership Action Plan. Our hesitation is a sign of our distrust in their commitment and preparedness. Aren’t we confident in their will?” asked the President stressing that the world would not approve if this unique opportunity was missed.

This speech was followed by a break during which the parties continued discussions to ultimately reach a compromise on the President Adamkus initiative to guarantee a clear prospect of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

Press Service of the President

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