Greek parliament approves Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession

09 Février, 2019, 15:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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	Greece		Greek lawmakers approve protocol for ‘Republic of North Macedonia’s’ NATO accession

Greece's parliament on Friday ended a decades-long dispute by approving a measure that would allow Macedonia, soon to be North Macedonia, to join NATO.

The parliaments of all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states must now individually ratify the protocol before Macedonia can become a full voting member of the Western alliance, formed in 1949.

He also said that his party will not relinquish the right to veto the accession of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the European Union, once the process gets underway.

Greece and Macedonia - independent since 1991 - struck the historic agreement to change the name a year ago, despite protests from opposition parties, and ratified it in parliament.

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The row centred around concerns that Skopje would make territorial claims to a neighbouring region in northern Greece, which Athens says has used the name Macedonia since the times of Alexander the Great.

Western countries strongly backed the deal between Greece and Macedonia, after the country's bid to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had been shelved for a decade and amid European concerns over Russia's vocal opposition to the alliance's expansion further into the Balkans. Nationalist groups in both countries opposed the deal, with many saying it gave up too much to the other side.

"Today's vote closes the most important round of obligations involving Greece", Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament ahead of the vote.

NATO state ministers on Thursday in Brussels signed Macedonia's accession protocol- which will enable it to become the club's 30th member under its new name, Republic of North Macedonia.

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