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N.Macedonia approves accession protocol to NATO

BELGRADE, Serbia

The North Macedonian Assembly on Tuesday approved accession protocol to NATO.

At a session held in the 120 seat-parliament, the law on ratifying the country’s NATO accession protocol was adopted with 114 votes in favor.

The law will enter into effect after Spain approves it as the accession protocol must be approved by all member states’ parliaments.

Due to the parliament’s termination before the early general elections on April 12 in North Macedonia, the government approved the agreement early.

North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski said the final stage of North Macedonia’s full-fledged membership to the alliance has begun with the approval of the NATO accession protocol.

“The obligation and responsibility of our generation of politicians to complete this process have undeniable historical significance,” said Pendarovski.

Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski said they are experiencing a historic day as North Macedonia has become part of the security shield of the world’s most important military alliance.

“It was not easy to go through the process of renaming the state and protecting our identity problems. With agreements with Greece and Bulgaria, we opened the pages of friendship, broke the wall that separated us and established friendship between the two peoples. Greece was the first NATO member country to ratify our NATO membership agreement,” said Spasovski.

After the session, NATO flag was hoisted in front of the parliament building.

North Macedonia received an invitation from NATO to begin accession negotiations at the Brussels Summit on July 12, 2018, and NATO member states signed the protocol for alliance membership in February 2019. Since then, the process of adoption of the accession protocol in the councils of NATO member countries has begun.

The agreement, ratified by 28 member states, must also be ratified by Spain.

According to state officials, North Macedonia is expected to become a full member of NATO in March.

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