WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 4, 2008 -The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is profoundly disappointed with Greece’s veto of the Republic of Macedonia’s NATO membership during the NATO Bucharest Summit based on Greece’s objection to Macedonia’s name.
While Macedonia met all NATO membership requirements and has combat troops participating in NATO’s Afghanistan operations, Greece still vetoed Macedonia. All other NATO members supported Macedonia’s admission. UMD commends those NATO members that supported and still support Macedonia’s NATO admission, especially the United States, Turkey and Slovenia.
Through this irrational veto, Greece unduly denied Macedonia proper recognition of its efforts to join NATO and its commitment to NATO’s founding principles. It seems that when Greece speaks of a “mutually acceptable” solution to the “name dispute” it means a solution that it alone chooses.
The Greek veto violates the 1995 United Nations brokered Interim Accord between Macedonia and Greece, which barred Greece from using the “name dispute” to impede Macedonia’s NATO accession. Moreover, the Greek veto will undermine NATO’s efforts and interests in the region at a time when all nations in Southeast Europe should be working to advance regional peace and stability.
Macedonia is a peaceful, stable, and democratic nation that stands out among Balkan nation-states as successfully multi-ethnic and governed by the rule of law. Macedonia earned its NATO membership and deserves its place among the great democracies of the world. UMD looks forward to the day when the Republic of Macedonia is a part of NATO and takes its rightful place within the Alliance.
Finally, the United Macedonian Diaspora applauds the Macedonian government for refusing to concede Macedonia’s name and identity despite Greece’s blackmail and demands that it do so. UMD also cites the eloquence illustrated in proclaiming that, despite the veto, Macedonia and the Macedonian people will continue to exist and will continue their role as a force of security and stability in the region and throughout the world.
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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