Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Macedonia optimistic about NATO membership despite Greek veto threat

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Tuesday that Macedonia is still hopeful of being invited to join NATO despite Greek veto threat over name dispute.

"We are still hopeful that justice will prevail, and that Macedonia will obtain the NATO membership invitation," Gruevski said before he left for Bucharest to attend the alliance's summit, set to begin on Wednesday.

To join NATO, Macedonia, along with Croatia and Albania, needs to get unanimous support from all member states. But Greece has threatened to veto Macedonia's accession efforts over name dispute.

Athens opposes to the name of "Republic of Macedonia," arguing that it might lead Macedonia to make territorial claims over its own northern province which is also called the same name.

Prime Minister Gruevski said that Macedonia has met all requirements for NATO membership and that it deserves to be part of the alliance, despite there is no positive signal from Greece over the issue.

"All Macedonians should be proud of everything that had been achieved in the past, and their perseverance should be rewarded," Gruevski said.

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