Albania marks the 12th anniversary of its official NATO membership.Following the ratification of the membership protocol by all member states and the deposit of the instrument of NATO accession with the US State Department, Albania formally joined NATO on 1 April 2009.
Albania participated for the first time as a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the summit held in Strasbourg / Kehl on April 4, 2009, while on April 7, 2009, at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels. The official ceremony of raising the flags of Albania and Croatia in NATO took place.
Before and after membership, Albania has offered its contribution to international peace operations led by NATO, but also by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).
Albania has become part of dozens of international operations and missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aegean Sea, Latvia, Iraq and Afghanistan, while during 12 years as part of the Alliance, the Albanian Army has been involved in a process of transformation and modernization, which from personnel to military equipment and tools.
In the period 1992-1999, Albania continued its efforts around the accession process, engaging in various initiatives and signing several documents that would pave the way for the full membership process.
Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka recalled the 12th anniversary of Albania's membership in NATO, saying that in these years we have managed to gain the trust of the allies as reliable partners and serious contributors to the collective security of the Alliance.
Through a post on the social network Facebook, Xhaçka writes that our challenge now is EU integration, and that even this with work and dedication will be won, starting with the holding of the First Intergovernmental Conference within this year.