Albania Threatens to Veto Macedonia’s NATO Bid

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Feb. 24, 2014Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama threatened on Wednesday that his country would veto Macedonia’s NATO candidacy, arguing it did not respect the rights of its ethnic Albanian minority.

Macedonia could not be a NATO member without respecting the Ohrid agreement and human rights,” Rama told a regional ministerial meeting on the fight against terrorism.

He was referring to the peace deal that ended the 2001 conflict between the Macedonian government forces and ethnic Albanian rebels seeking more rights….

Rama spoke as Macedonia, struggling with a deep crisis, was additionally shaken by a deadly shooting earlier this month between police and ethnic Albanian rebel. The violence in the northern town of Kumanovo left 18 people dead, including eight police officers….

Police arrested 30 alleged gunmen of ethnic Albanian origin, including 18 from Kosovo, and charged them with terrorism.

Image: Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Feb. 24, 2014 (photo: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)