- Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:09 PM
Brussels, 13 June 2018 (MIA) - NATO has already reached a decision that Macedonia will get a membership invitation as soon as the name dispute with Greece is solved, and the decision was made at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest. Now that the agreement has been reached, an invitation will be extended once it is finalized in the two countries.
This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with MIA when asked what procedures Macedonia has to undergo in order to get an invitation at the upcoming summit in July after a name deal was reached.
"Until the summit we will find a way to express that we still stand on that decision, and to recognize the importance of the agreement. At the same time, what is important now is that the agreement is finalized both in Skopje and in Athens. The agreement is quite comprehensive when it comes to the sequences of decisions, ratification, the referendum," said Stoltenberg.
Speaking to MIA, he expressed hope that the procedures would be completed as soon as possible, which would enable the Alliance to do its part.
The Macedonia-Greece agreement, Stoltenberg said, is historic and of great importance not only for the two countries, but also for the whole of Europe.
The NATO chief said that on Tuesday evening he had spoken with the premiers of Macedonia and Greece, Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras, to congratulate them on the efforts they had made in the 'very difficult process.'
Asked about recent developments in the two countries with President Gjorge Ivanov and the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE expressing dissatisfaction with the agreement, which is also criticized by the Greek opposition, Stoltenberg said those were democratic countries and the process depended on their democratic institutions.
The NATO Secretary General urged the two countries to solve the issue and 'to seize the historic opportunity.'
"The NATO decision is clear, finalization of the agreement followed by an invitation for membership, but we must make sure the agreement is finalized first and ratified. This is a historic agreement, a historic moment that is important for all involved and for the whole of Europe, because it solves this difficult issue which has been a problem for decades," Stoltenberg told MIA. ba/18:04
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