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Tags: EU | Greece | Macedonia

Greek Parliament Set to Back Macedonia's NATO Accession

Friday, 08 February 2019 09:38 AM EST

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek lawmakers are set Friday to approve Macedonia's NATO accession, ending a process to normalize relations between the two neighbors and anchor the country — renamed North Macedonia — firmly within the western sphere of influence.

Greek opposition parties reject the move, arguing that the name deal, which will end a 27-year dispute, concedes too much to Macedonia. But the left-led government in Athens controls enough seats in parliament to win the vote, which is expected Friday evening.

Greece and the former Yugoslav republic — independent since 1991 — struck the historic agreement last summer, despite protests from opposition parties, and ratified it in parliament.

Greek approval of Macedonia's NATO accession bid is the final step in the deal. Provided lawmakers vote for the motion, Greece's foreign ministry will promptly notify the Macedonian government of the result.

Macedonia will then write to the United Nations, its member states and international organizations, formally announcing the name change.

Government spokesman Mile Boshnjakovski told The Associated Press this would happen "in coming days."

The two countries remained deadlocked over Macedonia's name for the duration of the younger country's existence but then left-led governments were elected in both countries that were less vulnerable to nationalist pressure.

The main catalyst for the change was Macedonia's wish to join NATO, and, eventually, the European Union, and western countries' desire to diminish Russian influence in the region.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Greek lawmakers are set Friday to approve Macedonia's NATO accession, ending a process to normalize relations between the two neighbors and anchor the country - renamed North Macedonia - firmly within the western sphere of influence.Greek opposition parties reject the move,...
EU,Greece,Macedonia
229
2019-38-08
Friday, 08 February 2019 09:38 AM
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