Monday, December 18, 2006

Balkan defense ministers meet to discuss joining NATO

Defense ministers from six Balkan countries on Tuesday in Tirana started a two-day meeting to discuss their countries' bid to join the NATO.

The defense ministers from Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are also expected to focus on promoting military cooperation, as well as their joint efforts in stepping up security in the region and beyond.

Albania, Croatia and Macedonia signed the U.S.-backed Adriatic Charter in May 2003 to facilitate their entry into the NATO, hoping to join the club by 2008.

Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia are to join the NATO's Partnership for Peace program this week, the first step toward a possible membership in the military alliance.

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