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|Updated: 04-Dec-2002||November 2002|
Lord Robertson visits Tirana and Skopje
Lord Robertson travelled to Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) on 29 November to deliver the message that the Alliance’s door remained open and to urge the two countries to continue reforms. Neither were invited to begin accession talks for NATO membership at the Prague Summit, but were encouraged to continue work to achieve this ultimate goal.
The Secretary General met with the countries’ authorities to discuss the results of NATO’s Summit meeting in Prague on 21 and 22 November. In Tirana, he met President Alfred Moisiu, Prime Minister Fatos Nano and other senior ministers. In Skopje he held talks with President Boris Trajkovski, Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and other senior officials.
"The countries who have not yet been invited must continue with the process of reform, and that reform must be both military and political," he said at a press conference in Tirana, adding that future membership depended on whether further progress was made.
The Secretary General emphasised, in particular, the need for cracking down on international organised crime while promoting legal cross-border economic co-operation. He also welcomed an initiative by Albania, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to work together for NATO membership.