Albanian President Alfred Moisiu, left, greets his Croatiancounterpart Stipe Mesic, prior to the start of a summit in Tirana Wednesday,Feb. 12, 2003. The presidents of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia gatheredWednesday in Tirana to discuss cooperation that aims to bring their countriescloser to NATO (news- websites). (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Wed Feb 12, 7:02 AM ET
TIRANA, Albania - The presidents of Albania,Croatia and Macedonia gathered Wednesday in Tirana to discuss cooperation thataims to bring their countries closer to NATO , the president's office said in anews release.
The three countries wereexcluded from a group of former communist countries invited to join the alliancelast year at a summit in the Czech capital, Prague. But their joint efforts areconsidered promising in a region that has suffered nationalist strife in recentyears.
The meeting aimed to set joint goals for the three countries, and to spellout what they needed to do to reach the goals, the news release said. James F.Jeffrey, the U.S. ambassador to Albania, was set to attend the meeting.
The three countries plan in March to sign an agreement called the"Adriatic 3," which will create a legal context for the cooperationamong the three countries and the United States.
Albania has hired the U.S. law firm Paige E. Reffe for one year to boost itsefforts to join NATO.