I am proud to report that the hard work of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) has been drawing serious attention in Washington, D.C and worldwide in recent weeks. UMD and Macedonian-Americans-at-large were instrumental in securing 54 members of Congress to send a letter to President Obama, encouraging his Administration to take a strong stand on Macedonian membership in NATO at the upcoming Chicago Summit in May.
The letter was unique in its strongly-worded bipartisan support for Macedonia, and also because of the unprecedented number of Representatives that signed. This letter, which accompanied the introduction of two related bills in both the House and Senate, have led to numerous positive news articles in Foreign Policy and The Hill, drawing attention to the injustices Macedonia endures at the hands of its southern neighbor. Just read some of the comments at the end of those articles.
For the Greek lobby in Washington coordinated by the Greek Embassy (see below e-mail from the American Hellenic Institute), keeping Macedonia out of NATO has been the number one priority for some time since 2008, despite Greece's debt crisis. Their response to this outpouring of support for Macedonia has been to launch their own counter-offensive, including a smear campaign of misinformation, which is designed to silence Macedonia's supporters. The Greek government and Greek-American associations have been coordinating their efforts, and ramping up their anti-Macedonia campaign on every level.
Our team at UMD, especially our Fellows Ana Donevska and Matthew Emery, are doing everything in our power to counter the Greek propaganda machine, and to make sure that the world knows the truth about Macedonia. Contrary to numerous public statements from the Greeks, both NATO and the Obama Administration have a legal obligation to uphold the rulings of the International Court of Justice. Simply because Greece does not like the ICJ judgment, does not mean that they have any right to ignore it, nor should they impose such dangerous propaganda on others to deliberately distort the facts.
UMD provides a voice for Macedonians worldwide, and our work ensures that the truth about Macedonia will continue to be told. With a strong, professional organization advocating internationally, the Macedonian Diaspora will NEVER AGAIN be silenced.
But for us to continue on this mission, we need your help now. Donations to UMD guarantee that the voice of the Macedonians will be heard loud and clear at the highest levels of power, to counter the blatant lies propagated by Greece.
You can help in other ways, as well. For instance, we recently unveiled a new website, www.MacedoniaInNATO.org. Please promote this as much as possible to family, friends, social media contacts, co-workers, neighbors, and your political representatives. It contains valuable information regarding Macedonia's NATO aspirations, and the obstacles that continue to block them. Also, keep sending letters to your members of Congress by clicking HERE.
Let's work together to confront Greek propaganda wherever it exists: on internet forums, in the comments section on news stories, or in your day-to-day conversations. With a strong consistent effort from our entire community, we believe the truth will prevail!
Thank you so much for your strong support!
Metodija A. Koloski
E-mail that went yesterday from the American Hellenic Institute:
AHI Chapter Presidents, Congressional Contact Team Leaders, Members and Friends
Nick Larigakis, AHI President
April 10, 2012
CONTACT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA - ENCOURAGE THE ADMINISTRATION TO MAINTAIN ITS CORRECT POSITION ON FYROM/NATO MEMBERSHIP
A NATO Summit in Chicago will be held May 20-21, 2012.
Although the upcoming Summit is not an enlargement Summit, there has been action taken in the U.S. Congress intended to pressure President Barack Obama to extend a formal invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to join NATO at the upcoming Summit in Chicago.
* 54 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to President Barack Obama to "strongly urge your Administration to make sure that NATO finally offers the Republic of Macedonia its well-deserved formal invitation to join the Alliance during the Chicago Summit.
* Click here to view the letter and see the list of signatories. (1 MB PDF)
* The "NATO Enhancement Act of 2012" has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate (S.2177) and U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.4243). Language in both bills calls on President Obama to invite or provide a clear roadmap for inviting the "Republic of Macedonia" to NATO.
* Click here to view H.R.4243 current status.
* Click here to view S.2177 current status.
The Positions of NATO and the Obama Administration
* Jan. 15, 2010: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated at a press conference with FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, "An invitation to start accession talks will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been bridged, and we hope to see a proactive stance from Skopje to find a compromise."
* Oct. 18, 2010: Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon stated, "Macedonia will join [NATO] once the dispute over its name is resolved" in a speech at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Nitze School Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
* July 17, 2011: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with SKAI TV said, "The government in Skopje needs to know that it will not be able to move forward on its European integration until it does resolve this (issue)."
NOTE: Please send a copy of your correspondence, or provide notice of a phone call made, to Demetra Astaloglou at email@example.com
* The Greek American community welcomes the position of the Obama administration as articulated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon and NATO's position as articulated by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
* NATO's position has been reaffirmed at recent NATO Summits in Strasbourg (2009) and Lisbon (2010).
* Greece strongly supports the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of FYROM having not only acquiesced to but also supported its status as a candidate country for accession to the EU and to its joining the Membership Action Plan.
* FYROM's irredentist and provocative acts toward Greece are clear violations of the 1995 Interim Accord between Greece and FYROM and these acts demonstrate that FYROM is unwilling to demonstrate good faith toward its neighbor Greece; a condition which must exist for the two countries to come together and resolve the name issue, and ultimately, for FYROM to attain NATO membership.
* Simply stated, FYROM cannot join NATO until it resolves its differences with NATO Alliance members Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania.
For further information or questions, please contact AHI, (202) 785-8430, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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The American Hellenic Institute is a nonprofit public policy organization that works to strengthen relations between the
United States and Greece and Cyprus, and also within the American Hellenic community.
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Phone 202-785-8430 | Fax 202-785-5178 | www.ahiworld.org