Croatia join NATO

Croatia join NATO

NATO on Monday reassured Croatia that its drive to join the alliance will be judged on its own merits early next year and will not be tied to the membership bids of Albania and Macedonia.

"There is no packaging as far as nations are concerned," said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. "It's based on the performance of every individual nation."

Croatia, Albania and Macedonia are all hoping to receive invites to join the alliance at a NATO summit scheduled for April in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. NATO says no decision will be taken until next year, but officials say Croatia's preparations are running ahead of the other two Balkan nations.

"We see Croatia making considerable progress," de Hoop Scheffer told reporters after a meeting with President Stipe Mesic at NATO headquarters. However, he cautioned that Croatia needed continue to prepare its military for entry into the Western alliance.

"My message to President Mesic is: keep up the momentum," de Hoop Scheffer said. "There is no guarantee for invitations at the NATO summit in Bucharest."
source: iht.com, 2007-10-03

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