BRUSSELS – Macedonia is invited to join NATO once the name issue is definitively resolved. The leaders of the 29 member states at their summit in Brussels the green light.
Condition is that the inhabitants of the small Balkanstaat later this year in a referendum to accept the new name Northern Macedonia and all national procedures have been exhausted. The parliament in the capital Skopje is already agreement.
Greece has a region with the name Macedonia and has a name change as a condition for the former Yugoslav republic to the military alliance. Athens and Skopje were a month ago, a solution.
According to NATO chief Jens) the decision is a powerful signal that NATO’s door is open for new members. The last country that joined the NATO, Montenegro, last year the 29th member state.
“Macedonia has made significant progress, that was also the reason that the Netherlands has agreed with the start of the negotiations”, said Foreign minister Stef Blok. “That means that they still have more progress to show, in the field of the rule of law, and that it is a stable country. But we can take this step now.”
’Not far enough’
“It is difficult to predict how long it will take before Macedonia is a member, because we, as the Netherlands is always of the line that you also have results to show”, continued the minister. “You speak with confidence, and then you hope that it goes quickly. But it can not guarantee that the two years is ready.”
Block did not want to speculate on the 31st member state. Bosnia, Ukraine and Georgia are mentioned in the final declaration, but are “still not far enough” the next steps to convert.
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