AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, TALLINN, Estonia
April 24, 2006
Foreign and defense ministers from the Baltic states will attend a two-day meeting in Croatia with their Balkan counterparts and U.S. officials to discuss NATO enlargement into the Balkans, Estonia said April 24.
The meeting, to be held in the Croatian city of Brijun on April 25 and Wednesday, will bring together the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania, Croatia, Macedonia as well as U.S. officials, the Estonian foreign ministry said.
”The ministers will discuss the enlargement of the NATO military alliance and the integration of the southeast European countries into Euro-Atlantic structures,” Ehtel Halliste, spokeswoman for the Estonian foreign ministry, told AFP.
”The aim of the meeting is to promote the open-door policy of NATO for the three countries of the Adriatic Charter,” she added.
The Adriatic Charter, an initiative similar to the US-Baltic Charter signed in 1998, groups Albania, Croatia and Macedonia.
”The Baltic states received a lot of support though the US-Baltic Charter,” Halliste said.
The Baltic states joined NATO in 2004 with solid backing from the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice starts off Monday for a new tour of Europe, but the State Department has been guarded about her exact itinerary.