November 18, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) sent a letter this week to President Barack Obama reaffirming UMD’s request that the President and his administration clearly and forcefully express to our NATO allies that Macedonia should be formally invited to join NATO at the upcoming Lisbon Summit. This most recent UMD letter follows up on prior communications that UMD has had with President Obama, members of his administration, the U.S. Congress and its staff emphasizing that, “[a]lthough Macedonia is not a member of NATO, its contributions to peace, democracy, stability, and security in Southeast Europe and elsewhere make it clear that Macedonia is a close U.S. ally and has been acting as a de facto member of NATO for some time.”
UMD also refuted an October 25, 2010 letter sent to the President by AHI. “AHI claims that Greece’s efforts in Afghanistan are much more significant than those of Macedonia – as if that assertion, if it were true (which it is not), would be a basis for not welcoming Macedonia into the Alliance. In a letter from the Heritage Foundation in December 2009, Greece is singularly mentioned as a ’reluctant contributor to the mission in Afghanistan’, despite its capacity to do more,” stated UMD’s letter. UMD goes on to say that “[t]he so-called ‘name dispute issue” – invented by Greece to impede the accession of Macedonia to NATO and the EU [among other reasons] – does not and should not bear on membership criteria.” UMD’s letter noted that “Greece time and again has demonstrated its unwillingness to close this issue out. Instead, it has insisted on a moving target of concessions intended to string the matter out ad infinitum.”
To view UMD’s letter to President Obama, please click here.