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Albania A Step Closer To NATO
BRUSSELS, July 9 – Albania, together with Croatia, signed a set of protocols with NATO on Wednesday, considered an important step prior to joining the alliance. A dispute with neighboring Greece over its name continues to keep Macedonia from being accepted into NATO. The signing ceremony was held at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels and considered largely a formality since NATO had already agreed to bring the two Balkan countries into the organization at a summit in Bucharest this past April. “This is a historical achievement, not just for these two countries but for the entire Atlantic community of nations,” said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. “Albania and Croatia have implemented major political and military reforms and, therefore, earned their rightful place at our table.” The protocols, signed by the ambassadors of NATO member states in the presence of the Albanian and Croatian foreign ministers, alter the North Atlantic Treaty — NATO’s founding document — to add the two Adriatic states’ names to the list of members. NATO membership is ”the fulfillment of the paramount ambition of the Albanian people,” and the ceremony “marks the crowning of our long and determined efforts,” Albanian Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha said.
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Albania Set To Continue Reforms For NATO Full Membership
Three months ago at Bucharest, NATO invited Albania and Croatia to start accession talks that would lead to the fulfillment of a paramount national aspiration of Albanians, full membership into NATO.
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