Accession Talks with Skopje Begin at NATO Headquarters

Skopje Starts Accession Talks with the NATO Alliance. Photo: NATO
Skopje Starts Accession Talks with the NATO Alliance. Photo: NATO

Accession Talks with Skopje Begin at NATO Headquarters

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia marked an important step on its road towards NATO membership on Thursday (18 October 2018), beginning two days of formal Accession Talks at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. The formal Accession Talks cover detailed aspects of membership, including political, military and legal questions.

Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

The Talks are chaired by NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Alejandro Alvargonzález, who welcomed Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Radmila Šekerinska-Jankovska and the delegation from Skopje to NATO headquarters.

The Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller also met with Minister Šekerinska-Jankovska to discuss the ongoing accession process.

Work on the accession process began in July, following the invitation from Allies at the Brussels Summit. At the recent meeting of the NATO Defence Ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that “once all the constitutional changes on the new name are completed we can sign the accession protocol.”

He underlined that this is a “historic opportunity,” and urged “all political leaders and parties to work together constructively and responsibly to seize this opportunity.”

The country has worked closely with NATO, joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1995 and the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 1999. For many years, the country has provided valuable support to NATO-led operations and missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

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Rakesh Raman