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CRUCIAL MONTHS FOR MACEDONIAN NATO ENTRY



National.

The next couple of months are crucial for Macedonia's aspiration to become a member of NATO, a high-ranking official of the Alliance said in Skopje today.

The Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Ambassador Martin Erdman, said after meeting with PM Nikola Gruevski that Macedonia is walking the last mile ahead of the NATO Summit in Bucharest next year.

"Before making the decision, NATO members will take into consideration the following issues," Erdman said, enumerating the status of the reform agenda implementation and its sustainability, implementation of the Framework Agreement, inter-ethnic relations, inter-party dialogue and cooperation, political stability, good-neighborly relations, functional and independent institutions and results from fighting corruption.

He pointed out that the invitation for membership in NATO is not intended for the Defense Ministry or the armed forces, or even the Government.

"It is an invitation to the entire nation to join the European family of 26 member-countries," Erdman said. He is leading a NATO expert team that arrived in Macedonia to review the country's preparedness to join the Alliance.

The Assistant Secretary General extended gratitude on the behalf of NATO for Macedonia's logistics support to KFOR mission and for Macedonia's participation in ISAF mission in Afghanistan, underlying that the NATO member-countries are well aware of the progress the country had made in the fields spanning defense and economy.

Answering a journalist's question, Erdman said that there was no such thing as a ranking list of the Adriatic Charter member-countries and explained that the situation is being followed in each of the three countries (Macedonia, Albania and Croatia).

PM Gruevski on his part said that the main tasks Macedonia is facing include judiciary reforms and fulfilling of the obligations stemming from the May Agreement with DUI, i.e. working out the bill on commission of ethnic communities, changing of the commission's composition and the legislation that require double majority for adoption. Gruevski stressed that all of these projects have already entered a parliamentary procedure.


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February 27 2010:
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