On Friday, North Macedonia has officially become the 30th NATO member, upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the US State Department in Washington DC.
Macedonian foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov said this was an historic week, in light of the country’s start of EU accession talks approved on Thursday:
In a statement issued by NATO, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warmly welcomed the Western Balkan country:
“North Macedonia is now part of the NATO family, a family of thirty nations and almost one billion people. A family based on the certainty that, no matter what challenges we face, we are all stronger and safer together,“ he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also welcomed North Macedonia in the alliance:
NATO Allies signed North Macedonia’s Accession Protocol in February 2019, after which all 29 national parliaments voted to ratify the country’s membership.
In a symbolic gesture following the settlement of disputes between the two countries, Greece was the first to ratify the protocol of NATO accession for North Macedonia. Albania followed immediately after, becoming the second of the 29 NATO members to approve its neighbor’s NATO membership.
A flag-raising ceremony for North Macedonia will take place at NATO Headquarters on 30 March 2020.