Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Greece backs Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession

Greek parliament ratifies NATO accord with Republic of North Macedonia Greece’s Parliament backs Nato admission for Macedonia
Melinda Barton | 10 February, 2019, 21:42

Macedonia took a major step towards full NATO membership on Wednesday, when NATO state ministers in Brussels signed its accession protocol- enabling it to become the club's 30th member under its new name, Republic of North Macedonia. "I feel we have carried out our patriotic duty", Tsipras said.

After holding up its admission for years, Greece became the first nation Friday to ratify Macedonia's membership of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation after the two states resolved a decades-old name dispute last month.

On Wednesday, Skopje signed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession papers in Brussels that will lead to Macedonia becoming the alliance's 30th member once the bid has been ratified by all members.

Greece had previously used its veto rights to block Skopje's attempts to join the alliance because of a long-running dispute between the neighbouring countries.

"I'd like to welcome North Macedonia, a country friendly to Greece, a country that must be an ally in efforts to establish security, stability and peace in the region".

Since 1991, Athens has objected to its neighbour being called Macedonia because Greece has a northern province of the same name. This referred to the resignation of a junior partner from the governing coalition in January over the accord, which left the governing Syriza party short of an absolute majority in parliament.

The former Yugoslav republic will now be able to formally change its name to North Macedonia, a longtime source of tension with Greece, which saw the name as a threat to its own region of Macedonia.