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Albania in NATO?
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha was in Brussels Wednesday on a two-day official visit for talks with the EU and NATO. Albania is hoping to receive an invitation to join the Western military alliance along with Macedonia and Croatia at an April summit in Bucharest, Romania. “Our expectation for the Bucharest summit is to have the invitation for the NATO membership and I am mostly confident,” he said after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. But Albania should do more in its last kilometer till the NATO decision in April. Scheffer told Berisha he was pleased with Albania’s progress, but said more work was needed on judicial and electoral reforms before the summit. Berisha promised to push forward with the reforms. Although Croatia is widely seen as ready to join the alliance, diplomats have raised doubts about Albania and Macedonia. “I assured the (NATO) ambassadors that our reforms in Albania are irreversible and clear progress will be seen in the weeks and months to come,” he said. He warned that a snub in Bucharest would be “an unhappy signal” but said Albania would continue to push for membership.
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