MACEDONIA SIGNS ACCORD TO JOIN NATO
- Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance. At a formal signing of the NATO accession protocol, Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov hailed the moment as showing that the country will never walk alone once in the alliance.
- NATO said the admittance of a new member highlighted that all European nations who meet the entrance criteria could join the regional alliance.
- However, Moscow has continually rejected NATO’s position, saying that by taking in Balkan members, the alliance is undermining security in the region.
- The Macedonia-NATO accord follows a deal with Greece ending a 27-year-old dispute over Macedonia’s name. The accord must now be ratified by allied governments.
Agreement with Greece:
- After a lot of negotiations, an agreement was reached between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev. The agreement is famously referred to as the Prespa Agreement.
- As per the agreement the Republic of Macedonia would be renamed as the Republic of North Macedonia. The language of the country would be referred to as Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians (citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia).
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
- NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.
- The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
- NATO’s headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, where the Supreme Allied Commander also resides.
- An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes.