NATO welcomes Croatia as 10th candidate for membership
Tue May 14,10:15 AM ET
REYKJAVIK, Iceland - NATO (news - web sites) foreign ministers Tuesday accepted Croatia's request tobecome the 10th candidate on the waiting list for membership of the alliance. The 19 ministers said they welcomed Croatia's participation in NATO's "Membership Action Plan"designed to prepare applicants for entry into the defense pact.
Croatia submitted its application last week in a sign of improving relations with the West.But it is too late for the former Yugoslav republic to be considered for membership at a NATO summit inPrague in November when frontrunners among the candidates are expected to be invited in.Croatia is scheduled to present a program in the Autumn on how it plans to adapt its military andpolitical establishments to NATO standards.
Allied Command Europe (ACE) is one of the two major military commands of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The other is Allied Command Atlantic
(ACLANT) headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
Within ACE there are three Major Subordinate Commands responsible to the
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR):Allied Forces Northwestern Europe
(AFNORTHWEST, High Wycombe, England)); Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT,
Brunssum, The Netherlands); and Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH, Naples, Italy).
The task of ACE is to safeguard an area extending from the Northern tip of
Norway to Southern Europe, including the whole of the Mediterranean, and from
the Atlantic coastline to the Eastern border of Turkey. The headquarters of
ACE is the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) which is located
near Mons, Belgium.