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Macedonia Draws up Declaration on NATO Bid

April 26, 2012

Macedonia’s ruling parties have drawn up declaration for parliament, urging NATO to keep the door open for the country’s membership.

By Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 25.04.2012

 

The draft, which entered parliament on Tuesday, comes ahead of the Alliance summit in Chicago in May at which Macedonia hopes to push its bid for membership – currently blocked by Greece.

Macedonian parliament

The text put forward by centre-right VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the junior Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, says the country has met all of the criteria and conditions for NATO membership and wants to join as soon as possible.

“Macedonia remains committed to continuous reforms and support of peacekeeping missions aimed at securing global peace and democracy,” the draft reads.

Among other things the text urges NATO to respect its “open doors” principle and to heed the World Court ruling earlier this year, which deemed Greece’s blockade of Macedonia’s NATO accession illegal.

Greece and Macedonia are locked in a two-decade dispute over how the former Yugoslav republic should call itself. Greece insists that its neighbour’s use of the name “Macedonia” implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name.

Last December, the International Court of Justice, ICJ, ruled that Greece had breached an interim deal brokered by the UN in 1995 when it blocked Macedonia’s attempt to join NATO in 2008.

However, the court did not directly order Greece to stop the blockade, as Macedonia had requested.

As part of Macedonia’s last-ditch attempts to expedite its NATO membership bid,  Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki urged the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to lend his support at a meeting on Tuesday in New York.

But most observers doubt that Macedonia will make any real progress in Chicago, especially after influential NATO states repeated that the country needs to settle the name dispute first.

The document, which can expect supported from all parliamentary parties, further emphasizes that fostering neighbourly ties is of vital importance in enabling development of the region.

“Our goal is to constantly improve our mutual collaboration with our neighbours in the interest of country’s citizens,” the draft says.

 

See also:

Kathimerini, 25.04.2012

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