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Stoltenberg: NATO "Ready To Welcome" Macedonia

Reuters

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Macedonians on Thursday to vote in a referendum to embrace a deal on its name with neighboring Greece and join the defense alliance, Reuters reports.

“We are ready to welcome your country as NATO’s 30th member,” he said after meeting Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Macedonia has set Sept. 30 for the referendum on NATO and European Union membership bids and on its agreement with Greece on the country’s name.

In June, NATO invited Macedonia to begin accession talks with the alliance, but to finalize membership talks it will have to adopt constitutional changes.

“This is a historic opportunity,” Stoltenberg said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join the international community, to become a member of NATO, to become a member of the EU, but for this you have to agree with the name agreement.”


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