Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 13th May 2014.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:45 pm, 13th May 2014

NATO is not an alliance designed for offensive purposes. NATO is designed for the defence of the countries concerned and there are free sovereign nations who aspire to join NATO. What is more, their aspiration to join NATO is one of the positive influences on them to adopt strong democratic systems and free and open societies. So the expansion of NATO has been a very healthy development for many countries in the world. I think it would be wrong to bring down the shutters and say, “This is not available to any more countries at any stage.” Becoming a member of NATO is a demanding process, but I think it would be wrong to confine NATO to those countries that are already a member of it.