Greek parliament ratifies NATO accord with Republic of North Macedonia

April FrancisFeb 11, 2019

The Greek parliament ratified on Friday a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accord with Macedonia for the admission into the USA -led military alliance after a deal with Greece ended a 27-year-old dispute over its name. 153 MPs voted in favour of the protocol, while 140 were against.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members signed the accession protocol with Macedonia on Wednesday, days after the Greek parliament endorsed an agreement between Athens and Skopje that changed the Balkan state's name.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers they fulfilled their patriotic duty against all threats and thanked members of the parliament.

The Greek approval of Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession bid is the final step in the deal.

"I'd like to welcome North Macedonia, a country friendly to Greece, a country that must be an ally in efforts to establish security, stability and peace in the region".

However, Greece raised objections to the official usage of Macedonia's name, arguing that it implies territorial aspirations against a northern Greek region with the same name.

The historic Prespes agreement signed last summer aimed to put an end to the longstanding row and pave the way for the small Balkan country's accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.

Charges say suspect fired 5 times at school bus windshield
Lilly then walked to the driver's side of the bus where he pulled out his 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol from its holster. Lilly stopped his auto and tried to get on the bus but the driver refused, telling him there was a child on board.

Mr Tsipras also refuted calls for early elections.

"We remain committed to our declared position".

Opponents of the historic agreement in Greece believe that the danger of irredentism is not over, as the agreement recognizes Macedonian language and identity for the citizens of the neighboring state, as Mitsotakis noted.

"This is the final act of a nationally damaging deed", he said.

Seven out of ten Greeks oppose the deal, according to all recent opinion surveys.

Dimitrov, who soon resumes his tour of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state capitals, hopes the process will be completed in less than a year.

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