MHRMI and UMD Call on NATO to Admit Macedonia

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) and the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) today called upon NATO to invite the Republic of Macedonia to join the Alliance at the Bucharest Summit in April and to reject Greece’s attempt to derail Macedonia’s entry. Macedonia’s NATO membership is strongly supported by other member-states and will promote peace and stability in the Balkans as Kosovo’s recent independence continues to reverberate throughout the region.

“Macedonia has met all of NATO’s membership requirements and has proven its commitment to the Alliance by successfully participating in operations in Afghanistan and by serving as the key staging area for NATO’s intervention in Kosovo. Through its actions, efforts, and contributions, Macedonia has earned its place within NATO”, stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.

Greece threatens to block Macedonia’s NATO bid if Macedonia does not comply with Greece’s demands to change its constitutional name. However, over 120 countries including the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name.

Also, Greece cannot legally veto Macedonia’s NATO membership without violating Article 11 of the 1995 United Nations Interim Accord between Greece and Macedonia, which states “The Party of the First Part (Greece) agrees not to object to the application by or the membership of the Party of the Second Part (Macedonia) in international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions of which the Party of the First Part is a member.”

MHRMI President Bill Nicholov stated, “Allowing Greece to follow through on its threats could have dire consequences. The name dispute is a diplomatic charade instigated by Greece to divert attention away from ongoing human rights violations against its sizable Macedonian national minority. The EU, United Nations and NATO should recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name immediately and put an end to this senseless debate once and for all.”

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Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. Its main objective is to pursue and attain all fundamental human and national rights including the right of freedom of expression and association and to support all democratic principles for all ethnic Macedonians, and other oppressed peoples. For more information please contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or [email protected]

Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international nongovernmental and nonpartisan organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. For additional information, please contact UMD at 202-294-3400 or [email protected]

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