21 June 2021
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NATO signed an agreement with Macedonia in Brussels today that will enable the country to become the military alliance’s 30th member, under its new name the Republic of North Macedonia. The country’s 27-year dispute with Greece was resolved last month after Skopje and Athens ratified the Prespa agreement they signed last June that included provisions for name change. Greece had blocked Macedonia’s membership for decades, claiming that Macedonia’s old name implies territorial ambitions over a territory in Greece that bears the same name. Macedonia’s foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov announced earlier today the country would change its name in a “matter of days”. Macedonia will then inform the United Nations and other institutions about its new name. “This wasn’t inevitable – this wasn’t very likely to happen”, Dimitrov commented, giving credit to political leaders on both sides who proved “the impossible is actually doable”, BBC reports. “This is a family that strives to make our world more peaceful and a better place. This is a journey that has made us more mature… we have proven that we can assume our responsibility, face a problem, and resolve those problems,” Dimitrov concluded. After today’s signing, Macedonia will be able to sit in formal meetings as an observer and intensively prepare for full membership. “Today we are really changing our relationship,” said Jens Stoltenberg,the Secretary General of NATO, highlighted the significance of this event, RTV Slovenija reports. “This is a historic event”, Stoltenberg added. All NATO member states will now have to ratify the  agreement and Greece is expected to be the first to do so by the end of this week. The others are expected to ratify it by the end of this year or early next year.

Adriatic Journal


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