North Macedonia becomes NATO's 30th member





Brussels (dpa) - North Macedonia joined NATO on Friday, becoming the alliance's 30th member following a lengthy process that included a name change for the Western Balkan country.



"The Republic of North Macedonia is officially the new, 30th NATO member," the government in Skopje said in a statement. "We have fulfilled the dream of generations."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added: "North Macedonia is now part of the NATO family, a family of thirty nations and almost one billion people. A family based on the certainty that, no matter what challenges we face, we are all stronger and safer together."
Earlier on Friday, North Macedonia deposited its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the US State Department in Washington - the final formal step to join the defence alliance.
The national parliaments of all NATO countries had previously ratified its accession.
"North Macedonia's accession to NATO today represents the culmination of many years of effort by the government and people of North Macedonia," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Its membership "will support greater integration, democratic reform, trade, security, and stability across the region," while showing other countries that NATO's door remains open, he added.
Last year, North Macedonia changed its name from Macedonia in order to settle a long-running row with NATO and European Union member Greece - a condition Athens had set for Skopje to join both organizations.
"We have waited for this day nearly 30 years," North Macedonian Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska tweeted. "Congratulations to us."
A formal flag-raising ceremony is due to take place at NATO's Brussels headquarters on Monday.

 


Friday, March 27th 2020
(dpa)
           


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