BUCHAREST, April 3 (Xinhua) -- NATO invited at a summit here Thursday Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to start an Intensified Dialogue with the military alliance.
"There is agreement to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to begin an Intensified Dialogue on a full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to their aspirations," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference after meeting with leaders of the 26 NATO members.
The Intensified Dialogue is a stage before the Membership Action Plan (MAP), the gateway eventually leading to NATO membership in five to ten years for an aspirant.
Scheffer added that NATO will also intensify its collaboration with Serbia.
On the same day, the summit formally invited two other Balkan countries -- Croatia and Albania -- to join the alliance.
Aspirant Macedonia was left out because of a name dispute with Greece, which vetoed its invitation.
The biggest-ever NATO summit which started Wednesday will end Friday before discussing enlargement and operations in Afghanistan.