Permanent representatives of the 29 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) on Wednesday, February 6th, signed the “Accession Protocol for Macedonia”, in Brussels, paving the way for the Balkan nation to become the Alliance's 30th member, Reuters has reported.
At the alliance's headquarters in the Belgian capital, Macedonian Foreign Minister, Nikola Dimitrov, signed the agreement along with representatives from the current 29 NATO member countries during a ceremony presided over by the alliance's chief, Jens Stoltenberg.
"Today is a historic day. All Nato Allies have signed the Accession Protocol with Macedonia, which will bring more security & prosperity to the whole region. I look forward to the day when 30 flags will fly outside Nato HQ," Stoltenberg said on Twitter after the ceremony.
Now that the Accession Protocol is signed, Macedonia can take part in Nato activities as an invitee. The accession process now moves to the capitals of the 29 Nato members, where the protocol will be ratified. Macedonia will become a member of Nato as soon as all members have ratified the protocol.
Macedonia and Greece, last year, approved an agreement under which the former Yugoslav republic agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, to gain access to Nato and the EU.