President Obama and NATO Heads of State: Grant NATO Membership to Macedonia at Chicago Summit in May
Macedonia’s invitation to join NATO in Chicago, in May 2012, would only support NATO's ultimate mission: a Europe that is democratic, strong, and free. Macedonia has satisfied all the complex technical criteria for NATO membership, and yet, it remains outside the Alliance due to Greece's willful violation of international law. NATO leaders must take a stand for justice, and grant Macedonia the NATO membership it clearly deserves. The upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago provides an opportune time for NATO to accept Macedonia in the Alliance.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.”
To learn more about the Macedonia in NATO campaign, please visit http://www.umdiaspora.org
U.S. residents only: you can also send a letter about Macedonia's NATO membership to your members of Congress and the media via the following link: http://capwiz.com/paxturcica/issues/alert/?alertid=60857016
Grant NATO Membership to Macedonia at Chicago Summit in May - It’s time to grant Macedonia its earned seat at the table!
In 1991, Macedonia became the only state to emerge from the ashes of Yugoslavia peacefully. The country affirmed its desire to join NATO with a Parliamentary vote in 1993, and then began enacting the necessary reforms to achieve this goal. In 1995, Macedonia signed the Framework Documents for membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace. Then in 1999, Macedonia formally became a candidate country, and was granted a Membership Action Plan (MAP), outlining all the steps needed to be taken in order to assure membership. By 2008, Macedonia had fully satisfied all necessary criteria for membership, and it was expected to be granted membership at the Bucharest Summit, alongside Albania and Croatia.
However, Greece objected based on its long-standing "name dispute," a xenophobic fictional pretense which argues that Macedonia's culture and identity pose some sort of existential threat to Greece. As a result, the Greek government vetoed the invitation, despite the 1995 Interim Accord between Greece and Macedonia, which explicitly prohibited such a hostile action. Macedonia immediately took their case to the International Court of Justice. Three years later, on December 5, 2011, the ICJ ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Macedonia, confirming that Greece was in clear violation of the Interim Accord by vetoing Macedonia’s membership.
Despite non-membership, Macedonia has been critical to the NATO ISAF mission in Afghanistan, with a troop contribution that represents the fourth highest commitment per capita. Macedonia has also played a key humanitarian role, saving the lives of over 360,000 Kosovar refugees during NATO's Kosovo mission, as well as later hosting NATO's logistics base for KFOR.
Greek objections to Macedonia's NATO membership over "security concerns" are contradictory, when we consider that the basic benefit of NATO is to ensure collective security; no two NATO members have ever gone to war with one another. Macedonia has never posed any security threat to Greece, and has also acquiesced to countless Greek demands in hopes of finding a negotiated settlement, including changing the country's flag and constitution. But appeasement politics has only led to more and more Greek demands.
The fact remains that Greece does not seek any resolution of this imaginary problem; it seeks only to buy time. The real root cause of the name dispute is the Greek state's desire to oppress its ethnic Macedonian minority in northern Greece; an international anti-Macedonian campaign with a purely domestic purpose, to silence one of Greece's largest unrecognized minorities. Greece is also using the “name issue” to distract its domestic audience from the financial crisis that is enveloping the country.
NATO membership also encourages investment and economic development, both of which are sorely needed in the region. Ironically, the Greek government's meddling in this matter has actually harmed the Greek national economy, not to mention the regional economy as a whole. Despite being essentially bankrupt, the Greek government always seems to find more than enough borrowed money to appease its ultra-nationalists, and to wage its unending propaganda war against the Macedonian people, culture and identity.
Macedonia’s invitation to join NATO in Chicago, in May 2012, would only support NATO's ultimate mission: a Europe that is democratic, strong, and free. Macedonia has satisfied all the complex technical criteria for NATO membership, and yet, it remains outside the Alliance due to Greece's willful violation of international law.
We ask NATO leaders to take a stand for justice, and grant Macedonia the NATO membership it clearly deserves. The upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago provides an opportune time for NATO to accept the Republic of Macedonia in the Alliance.