NATO leaders meeting in Bucharest are congratulating Albania and Croatia for their membership invitations, but regret that Macedonia's invitation has been blocked.
The 26 NATO leaders issued a summit declaration Thursday saying Albania and Croatia earned the invitations by what they call years of hard work and a commitment to security and NATO's values.
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha calls the invitation a miracle.
The statement says it regrets that talks between Greece and Macedonia on a dispute over the use of the name Macedonia have not been successful. Greece is blocking Macedonia's membership bid at this time. But the leaders agreed that Macedonia will be invited as soon as a settlement on the name issue is reached.
NATO leaders have also put off Membership Action Plans for Georgia and Ukraine. The statement says both countries will join NATO in the future and have made valuable contributions to the alliance.
NATO foreign ministers will meet in December to assess progress by Georgia and Ukraine towards starting the membership process.
The NATO leaders' statement also repeated their commitment to ensuring security in Kosovo. They said they back the territorial integrity of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova, which are dealing with separatist movements.
Also Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called NATO support for a U.S. missile defense system in central Europe despite Russian objections a "breakthrough."
The matter is expected to come up during NATO talks today (Friday) with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin will host U.S. President George W. Bush Sunday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi to talks about U.S. missile defense plans.
Russia calls the planned system a threat to its security. The United STates says it is aimed at protecting Europe from an attack from the Middle East and is not directed at Russia.