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NATO invites Albania to join
BUCHAREST, April 3 - NATO decided, Thursday, to take in two new members, Albania and Croatia, while leaving out Macedonia following its riff with Greece over an unresolved dispute over its name. NATO and Albania signed the Membership Action Plan in 1999, which is the open door policy followed by the alliance for any country wishing to become a member. Through that plan, NATO offers advice and other assistance to the candidate country, though NATO closely follows all other developments in the country, besides military concerns. The membership plan also seeks to include the country into joint military exercises and operations. Since 2002, NATO has an office in Tirana. Albania immediately asked for membership after the fall of the communist regime in 1990. Albania has played an important part, though not directly participating with troops or military equipment, during the last decade’s wars in the former Yugoslavia’s territory and, especially, during the war in Kosova. Albania has repeatedly been commended for its moderating role in the Balkans. Albania has military units in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq and has also offered to provide additional forces for Darfur and Lebanon.
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Albania's NATO Invitation And After
Today, the Atlantic Alliance officially invited Albania to become its member. Albania will join NATO, 16 years after the fall of the most extreme dictatorship in the former Eastern bloc. After the fall of Communism, the membership in NATO is the second most important historic event. Albanians consider NATO membership a return to their natural home.
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