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Albania Ready To 'Pay Any Price' To Join NATO

Albanian Prime Minister Berisha (file photo) (epa) March 7, 2006 -- Prime Minister Sali Berisha has said Albania is ready to "pay any price" to achieve NATO membership, saying membership will best secure the country's future.

Speaking today at a conference titled "NATO's Past, Present And Future" held in the capital, Tirana, Berisha said Albania will deepen its reforms to achieve membership in the military alliance at NATO's next summit, expected later this year.

But NATO has said any further expansion should wait until at least 2008.

U.S. Ambassador to Tirana Marcie Ries said NATO is not just a military alliance and urged deeper political, institutional, and economic reforms.