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Greece Approves NATO Protocol on Macedonia's Accession

Greece Approves NATO Protocol on Macedonia's Accession

Greece has ratified a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accord with Macedonia for the admission of the former Yugoslav Republic into the US-led military alliance after a deal over the name ended a 27-year-old dispute between them. The protocol was approved by 153 MPs.

Both Greek and Macedonian parliaments have agreed to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia, ending Athens' veto of its neighbour's efforts to join NATO and the EU. He said that his government had "done its patriotic duty" and would be judged by people and history.

"I would like to again welcome North Macedonia, a country that is friendly toward Greece", Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Greek lawmakers on February 8 shortly before they voted on North Macedonia's bid to join NATO.

The Greek approval of Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession bid is the final step in the deal.

Mauricio Pochettino: tough for Tottenham move into new stadium this season
We were three and there was a table. "Only we say hello because we met by coincidence". It's been good because we can work and at the same time, we can breathe a little.

FILE - Protesters hold a giant Greek national flag during a demonstration against the agreement reached by Greece and Macedonia to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name, in front of the parliament building in Athens, Jan. 24, 2019.

The Republic of North Macedonia inches closer to joining NATO, but how does a country get invited?

Many in the West hope the change will also limit the influence of Russian Federation, which has at times tried to exert influence on the soon to be North Macedonia. Macedonia will then formally implement the name change. In ancient times it was the cradle of Alexander the Great's empire, a source of intense pride for Greeks. Greece has a northern province called Macedonia.

Opposition to approval came from Tsipras's estranged former coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), with Panos Kammenos lashing out at the Prime Minister as a "cold assassin", and from opposition New Democracy, with Kyriakos Mitsotakis saying that he reserved the right - should his party be in government - to block the former Yugoslav republic's accession to the European Union. He said that the process being used for the ratification is demeaning for parliament and "unprecedented".


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