NATO summit in Bucharest enters second day
Thursday, April 3, 2008
NATO leaders begin negotiations in earnest over Afghanistan Thursday, after the opening day of their summit in Bucharest saw a successful French offer of more troops, but a public disagreement over the alliance's enlargement.
In the morning, the heads of the 26-strong alliance will hold their first formal working session, picking up on the themes of Wednesday's dinner - enlargement, Kosovo and Afghanistan, plus other issues.
The conflict of interests involves a delicate diplomatic brinkmanship between NATO's historic open-door policy and Russia's feeling that the alliances' borders are growing too close for comfort.
NATO's backing of a United States missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic has been harshly condemned by Vladimir Putin, who will be making his first appearance at this year's summit to express his fears of a new arms race.
The leaders of Albania and Croatia will get their first taste of NATO's highest body, when they sit with their counterparts, alongside Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in a special session.
Greece refuses to recognise the former Yugoslav republic's name because it is the same as that of the northern Greek province of Macedonia and Athens worries that this could imply a claim on its territory.
- "Afghanistan on agenda as NATO leaders meet Ban, Karzai" — , April 3, 2008
- "Nato summit begins in Bucharest" — , April 3, 2008