Albanian, Croatian Flags Raised at NATO

resizer29In a ceremony held in Brussels on Tuesday the flags of Albania and Croatia were raised at the NATO headquarters.

Present at the ceremony headed by NATO General Secretary Japp de Hoop Schefer, were Albania’s Prime Minister Sali Berisha, his Croatian counterpart Ivo Sanader and the foreign ministers of the two newest alliance members.

General Secretary Schefer said the NATO accession is a sign of added security for two new member states. According to Schefer both Albania and Croatia will benefit from the added security provided by Article Five of the alliance, which promises that an attack against one of its members will be considered as an attack against all.

“With the accession of Albanian and Croatia our alliance reached 28 members,” said Schefer. “It was a stepping stone in the history of NATO, when your countries were seated at the table,” he added.

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha called the occasion ‘historical’ and thanked the Alliance for backing his government and Albania on its road to NATO accession.

“We owe to NATO our freedom,” said Berisha. “The process of accession in the alliance has become a guiding light for reforms in Albania,” he added.

Albania and Croatia officially joined NATO last week ahead of the Strasbourg summit, where the two new member states participated as full-fledged members of the alliance for the first time.

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