On October 24 President Bush signed NATO accession protocols for Albania and Croatia, bringing the two nations one step closer to joining the organization.
Senate ratification of the protocols and the presidential signature follows the extension of an official invitation to the two nations at NATO’s summit in Romania last April. All 26 NATO members must ratify before they can join the alliance, which could happen as soon as 2009.
The accession of Albania and Croatia – as well as preliminary approaches towards Macedonia, and assessments of Georgia and the Ukraine – is dependent on proof that the nations “are firmly on the path of democratic and internal reforms.” Engagement also reflects NATO’s current attempt to increase its level of cooperation in preparation for the alliance’s 60th anniversary this coming April.
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