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Introduction Of A Resolution To Include Albania, Croatia And Macedonia Into Nato Membership

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.

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Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure today to introduce a bipartisan resolution expressing the strong support of the House of Representatives for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, to extend invitations for membership to Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia at this week's Heads of State and Government summit in Bucharest, Romania. Representatives Mark Souder, Eliot Engel, Earl Pomeroy, and Candice Miller have joined me in this effort.

Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia have been preparing for NATO membership for more than 8 years, and are undergoing a historic process of democratic and free market transformation after emerging from decades of occupation. They have made important improvements in the areas of ethnic diversity, human rights, free market economic principles, and the promotion of good neighborly relations.

They can also play important roles in NATO activities in southeastern Europe, through their unique geostrategic position. Lasting stability and security in southeastern Europe requires the military, economic, and political integration of emerging democracies into existing European structures.

In addition, Macedonia, Albania, and Croatia have been steadfast partners in the war on terror and the war in Iraq, sending troops to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also important to note that Macedonia was the only former Yugoslav republic to win independence from Yugoslavia in the 1990s without bloodshed.

Madam Speaker, I proudly support the efforts of Macedonia, Croatia, and Albania to join NATO, and urge my colleagues in the House to support their efforts as well.