BRUSSELS, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation from Bosnia-Herzegovina handed in on Friday an official application for a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP).
MAP is designed to assist aspiring partner countries meet NATO standards and prepare for possible future membership. Aspiring nations must first participate in MAP before they join the alliance.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Bosnia's move, and said he was expecting the country's leadership to conduct further democratic reforms.
After joining NATO's Partnership for Peace program in 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an agreement on security cooperation in March 2007.
The Balkans nation began further cooperation with NATO within the Individual Partnership Action Plan in January 2008. Bosnia then started the process of Intensified Dialogue at the 2008 Bucharest summit and expects to join NATO between 2012 and 2015.
Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.