Stoltenberg: North Macedonia is de facto Member of NATO

The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the participation of Macedonia in the NATO Summit in London, estimating it as a very positive step for the entire Balkan region. “We warmly welcome North Macedonia today. NATO realises and implements a policy of open doors, and proof for that is the participation of North Macedonia in this Summit as a de facto member-state of NATO,” Stoltenberg said, adding that of all NATO member-states only Spain is left to ratify the Protocol for Accession of North Macedonia. The PM Zoran Zaev, who heads the Macedonian delegation at the London Summit, attended and addressed the NATO Leaders’ Meeting on Wednesday. “This is a strategic goal of our country which was a dream of generations of citizens of North Macedonia. I am very satisfied with the favourable dynamics of the process for ratification of the Protocol for Accession of North Macedonia in NATO. We are ready to be fully integrated in NATO and implement all necessary reforms, and we shall start by gradually increasing the funds for the defence sector from our GDP till they reach 2 % in 2024. The Army of North Macedonia actively participated in the missions of NATO in Afghanistan and in other countries, and will proceed to do so. I hope that the feat we have achieved will serve as a motivation for the other countries with similar aspirations,” PM Zaev said.