Germany has approved the accession of Macedonia to NATO. The German cabinet released a statement for the press, saying: “This will make an important contribution to security in the Euro-Atlantic area, while also providing important impetus for the further stabilization of the Western Balkans.”
“A historic moment. On 17 June 2018, in the Prespa Agreement, Athens and Skopje ended the 25-year conflict over the name of the former Yugoslav republic. The scene has been set for the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO. In February 2019, member states are to sign the accession protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty,” reads the press release.
The German government will work for the swift adoption of the protocol so that formal accession can take place before the end of the month.
“In terms of foreign policy, North Macedonia plays a constructive role in the Western Balkans. This became particularly clear in its readiness to agree to the change of name negotiated with Greece in June 2018 from Macedonia to North Macedonia. The background to the conflict was that the government and parliament in Athens refused to recognise the name Republic of Macedonia because a Greek province is also called Macedonia,” reads the press release.
The accession of North Macedonia to NATO thus marks the resolution of over 25 years of conflict with Greece over the name of the new state.
“The accession will also mark a valuable contribution to the transatlantic community of values. In recent years, North Macedonia has ambitiously reformed its security sector and made major progress in the fields of the rule of law and democracy. The Macedonian government has committed to resolutely continuing the reforms already launched,” reads the statement of the German cabinet.