Macedonia seeks support for NATO bid

April 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- Macedonia's bid to join NATO appears to have little traction at the moment, with new members not on the agenda for next month's summit.

The small former Yugoslav republic has joined the United Nations. But Greece objects to admitting Macedonia to the European Union and NATO, The New York Times reported.

Greece does not claim Macedonia's territory but does claim its name. The former kingdom of Macedonia, ruled by King Philip, who conquered Greece, and his son, Alexander the Great, among other people, included areas now in northern Greece and the southern part of what used to be Yugoslavia.

Macedonia has applied to the EU and NATO has the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or FYROM.

Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, in Washington trying to recruit allies for Macedonia's application, pointed to its outsize contributions to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. With a population of only 2 million, the country has sent 175 soldiers, the fifth largest force.

Poposki also argues Greece will be more secure with a NATO ally on its northern border, whatever its name may be.

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