Friday, March 07, 2008

We can't support Macedonia NATO entry: Greece

Greece can not support Macedonia's entry into NATO, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni says, due to an unresolved dispute over the Balkan country's name.

"As far as the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia is concerned, I stressed that the policy of our neighbour country does not allow us to take the same positive view as regarding Albania and Croatia," Ms Bakoyanni told a news conference after a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Macedonia hopes to be invited alongside Croatia and Albania at an April 2-4 summit to join the 26-member military alliance.

Athens has said it will block Macedonia's NATO and European Union accession until the two agree on a name for Greece's northern neighbour, which broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Greece rejects the name Macedonia because it says it implies territorial ambitions towards Greece's own northern province of Macedonia, birthplace of Alexander the Great.

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