Albania, Croatia Join NATO, Will Share Afghan Load

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2009 11:12 AM CDT
Final preparations are made inside the Congress Center in Strasbourg, eastern France where the NATO meeting will take place on April 3 and April 4.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Albania and Croatia both officially joined the NATO alliance today, the BBC reports. The former Yugoslav republics will likely be asked to send troops to bolster NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Insiders say NATO wanted to celebrate its 60th birthday by welcoming nations from a region recently wracked by bloody conflict. Croatia squeaked in when Slovenia, with which it shares a border, withdrew a veto on Monday.