NATO ministers agreed on Thursday to grant a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Bosnia that could see it join the alliance in coming years, but attached conditions to its implementation.
"MAP has been granted to Bosnia-Herzegovina today, but with clear conditions attached on implementation," NATO spokesman James Appathurai told a news briefing after talks among NATO foreign ministers in the Estonian capital Tallinn.
Appathurai said NATO would accept Bosnia's first annual reform plan under the programme, only when defence property, such as bases, was registered as belonging to the state and for use of the defence ministry.
A Membership Action Plan is a multi-stage process of political dialogue and military reform to bring a country in line with NATO standards and to eventual membership. The process can take several years.
Bosnia applied for the membership plan for the 28-nation NATO in October, but the alliance declined this in December on the grounds it still needed to carry out more reforms.
Appathurai said the ministers noted that since December Bosnia had made "significant" progress on reform and they had welcomed its decision to destroy surplus ammunition and arms and to contribute troops to the "NATO mission" in Afghanistan.
"They remain concerned, however, that the defence property issue is not yet resolved," he said.
Bosnia agreed this month to send an infantry unit to join the NATO-led invasion in Afghanistan -- one of the conditions NATO placed on Bosnia's application.
Croatia joined NATO along with Albania last year and Montenegro was granted a membership plan in December.
NATO agrees on Bosnia plan with conditions
NATO ministers agreed to grant a Membership Action Planfor Bosnia, but attached conditions to its implementation.