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Spokesman: NATO to Postpone Membership Offers to Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia

A NATO spokesman says he does not expect the bloc to start the membership process for Georgia and Ukraine at this week's summit in Bucharest.

Spokesman James Appathurai told reporters after Wednesday night's working dinner that the allies agreed that the two former Soviet states will eventually be offered a Membership Action Plan, but he believes it will not happen this week.

He said the membership plan is a matter of not whether but when.

Appathurai said the allies agreed to invite Albania and Croatia to join. But he said Greece is blocking membership at this time for Macedonia because of their dispute over the use of the name Macedonia.

The spokesman said NATO members agreed to a Canadian demand to send more troops to southern Afghanistan. He said U.S. soldiers will bolster Canadian forces while France plans to send in more troops to the east.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.