Stoltenberg’s visit to Macedonia – a signal of NATO’s opened doors

It has been almost four years since a NATO Secretary General paid a visit to Macedonia. Jens Stoltenberg is set to arrive this evening in Skopje, where he is scheduled to meet with Macedonia’s top state officials and to deliver an address in Parliament.

Irrespective of the message he is going to convey to the Macedonian authorities and the citizens, the official visit to the country itself – in times of intensive efforts being made by both at internal and foreign-policy level – speaks volumes.

Macedonia has been making both intensive and accelerated efforts to settle the name dispute with Greece, which has been hindering the European and Euro-Atlantic integration bid of the country. A fresh round of name negotiations is scheduled on Wednesday, seen as a renewed bid after a three-year hiatus. In the meantime, the government has been committed to implementing the 3-6-9 Plan of reforms needed to advance the democracy in the country and to establish rule of law.