NATO summit stalls over enlargement row
(dpa) - An invitation ceremony for Albania and Croatia to join NATO was delayed Thursday as alliance leaders discussed whether to also offer "conditional membership" to Macedonia, sources said.
The formal invitation ceremony was originally scheduled to take place at a North Atlantic Council summit in Bucharest at 1135 local time (0834 GMT).
But the ceremony has been delayed by some 90 minutes, with sources familiar with the negotiations saying leaders were discussing whether to offer membership to Macedonia on the condition that it resolves its name dispute with Greece.
The Greek government blocked Macedonia's bid on Wednesday, leaving NATO leaders with no alternative but to place Skopje's membership on ice.
Greece fears that the use of the name "Macedonia" could imply a territorial claim on its northern province of the same name.
Leaders were also believed to be in intense talks over the exact wording of a summit declaration setting out the alliance's future relationship with Ukraine and Georgia.
On Wednesday, France and Germany blocked US calls for the two former Soviet republics to be offered a Membership Action Plan, saying that it was too early for such a move.
Russia has already expressed irritation at the fact that NATO is seeking to enroll two more countries laying on its border.
One source said that NATO could review the question of whether or not to offer MAPs to Georgia and Ukraine at a December meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
Talks were also focussing on US plans to site a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
A joint US-Czech statement was expected to be released later on Thursday.