North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Origin. On 4 April 1949 the foreign ministers of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK and the USA signed the North Atlantic Treaty, establishing the North Atlantic Alliance. In 1952 Greece and Turkey acceded to the Treaty; in 1955 the Federal Republic of Germany; in 1982 Spain; in 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland; and in 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, bringing the total to 26 member countries. The Alliance enables these countries to meet and co-operate in the field of security and defence.
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