Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on January 31 that he expected that all 29 allies will sign the accession protocol of Macedonia soon.
Speaking after talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Stoltenberg commended Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his counterpart from the former Yugoslav republic, Zoran Zaev “for their courage and strong leadership, in making the name dispute a thing of the past.”
“Now we look to the future,” Stoltenberg said.
The Nato chief was referring to the legislatures in Athens and Skopje both having approved the Prespa Agreement, which provides for the former Yugoslav republic’s name to become Republic of North Macedonia.
This is intended to end the decades-long dispute over Skopje’s use of the name “Republic of Macedonia”, to which Greece had objected, blocking Macedonia’s paths to membership of the EU and of Nato.
“I expect all 29 Allies will sign the Accession Protocol soon. Then Skopje will take part in Nato meetings as an invitee,” Stoltenberg said.
“Once all 29 Allies have ratified the Protocol, we will be able to welcome the Republic of North Macedonia as Nato’s 30th member,” he said.
The governments of two countries have, as of January 31, approved Macedonia’s Nato accession protocol – Bulgaria and Germany.
(Photo of Stoltenberg: nato.int)