Macedonia's NATO Journey Not Over Yet, Experts Warn

Macedonia's NATO Journey Not Over Yet, Experts Warn

Macedonia's NATO Journey Not Over Yet, Experts Warn

Politicians late on Friday voted 153-140 to back the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation protocol that must now also be approved by all other alliance members. "I feel we have carried out our patriotic duty", Tsipras said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members signed an accord with Macedonia on Wednesday, allowing the republic to become the 30th member of the US -led alliance, after a deal with Greece ended a 27-year-old dispute over its name.

Greek approval of Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession bid is the final step in the deal. "We did what is right", Tsipras told parliament during a heated debate Friday.

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The dispute had frustrated Macedonian attempts to join the European Union and NATO: Greece is a member of both and has veto power over other countries joining.

Greece's approval, by a slim majority, came after the two countries settled the dispute by agreeing to change the country's name from the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" to the "Republic of North Macedonia".

Since 1991, Athens has objected to its neighbour being called Macedonia because Greece has a northern province of the same name. It says the alliance is undermining security in the region by taking in Balkan members. Greek opposition parties said the agreement made too many concessions to Macedonia.

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Negotiations between Greece and Macedonia were protracted and hard.

One lawmaker described the pact as "worth spitting at", another that Greece was "humiliated".

"This is the final act of a nationally damaging deed", he said. The protocol was approved by 153 MPs.

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The Greek Parliament has approved a measure for North Macedonia to join NATO, ending a decades-old dispute.

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