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The nations of Albania and Croatia were officially

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The nations of Albania and Croatia were officially welcomed as full members of NATO during an accession ceremony held on April 7, in front of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. SHAPE Chief of Staff, Gen. Karl Heinz Lather, presided over the event attended by Chief of Defence for Albanian Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Maksim Malaj, and the Military Representative of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia to NATO, Maj. Gen. Drago Lovric. "I thank you for your continued dedication, and I wholeheartedly welcome and congratulate you on full membership into the alliance," Lather said. "Throughout its 60 years of existence, NATO has stood valiantly for peace, prosperity, freedom and democracy. Today, Albania and Croatia join that honourable tradition." During the ceremony Albania's and Croatia's flags were hoisted into place alongside fellow NATO member nations' flags in front of SHAPE Headquarters. Lather noted that each time a country joins into NATO; they subscribe the collective vision started by NATO's founding nations to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their citizens. "Today, 28 nations stand side by side committed to the same principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law," Lather said. "It is a powerful testament to the enduring strength of the ideals upon which our alliance is built." (Photo by Sgt1 Rik van Oijen)

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Date

07/04/2009
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Source

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
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albania and croatia welcomed into nato at accession ceremony
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