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Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 

Hutchison: Macedonia could be next NATO member state

Hutchison: Macedonia could be next NATO member state

Washington, 13 October 2017 (MIA) - Macedonia is the next country which could meet the NATO membership criteria and I support it, however the problem is with the name “Macedonia” which must be acceptable for Greece too, the US permanent representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said in the interview with the Washington Post.

NATO will continue policy of open doors to new members, she said during an interview, but applicants must meet the standards of democracy and specific military standards.

Ten-fifteen years ago we debated and decided to introduce open doors policy and to include the Balkans and Baltics, and to have standards that would make them stronger. If standards of democracy, the military and the rule of law are met, then these countries will be better able to defend themselves and survive as democracies in the long run. The open door policy is still here and the standards are here, Hutchison said.

She underlined that due to the dispute with Greece there is no unanimous vote on Macedonia’s membership.

I think everyone sees Macedonia and its fulfillment of these standards. Few things remain to be fulfilled, but I believe that if they say they are close to an agreement on the name dispute, and we want to have a name that they want or in some other form, but they must reach an unanimous consensus. I think they are very close. The United States supports them, and if they can fulfill the last piece of the internal plan and work towards free elections and a strong government, then they will be the next member state, Hutchison said. sk/12:01

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