Canada First NATO Member Country to Ratify NATO Enlargement Treaty

Last Friday, March 28, 2003, Canada became the first NATO member country to ratify the agreements to admit Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“Canada is pleased to be the first country to ratify these agreements,” said Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The latest enlargement of NATO was agreed by the alliance’s heads of government at a summit last year in Prague, and NATO member countries signed the invitees’ accession protocols in Brussels last Wednesday.

Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has thanked Canada for the fast pace of ratifying NATO accession protocols.

The NATO accession protocols need to be ratified by eighteen NATO member countries yet.

U.S. President George W. Bush has already submitted to the U.S. Congress expanded reports on each country invited to join NATO. The Senate has already begun hearing reports on all seven countries’ readiness to become members of NATO.