by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the ceremony marking the accession of North Macedonia to NATO

  • 30 Mar. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 30 Mar. 2020 15:18

(As delivered)

Flag raising ceremony to mark the accession of North Macedonia to NATO with remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of North Macedonia to NATO, Zoran Todorov

Good afternoon.

We are here to welcome North Macedonia into the NATO family by raising your flag at our headquarters.

30 flags will now fly together.

A symbol of our unity and our solidarity.

This is a historic moment for North Macedonia.

It comes after years of perseverance, determination, and commitment to reform.

In the best spirit of the Alliance,

and through political courage and vision,

North Macedonia and Greece reached a historic compromise over the name issue.

The Prespa agreement made NATO accession possible.

It has also contributed to good neighborly relations.

And a brighter future for North Macedonia.

Your hard work has made today possible.

Joining NATO is good for North Macedonia.

It is good for the stability of the Western Balkans.

And it’s good for international peace and security.

I also welcome the European Union’s decision to start accession talks with North Macedonia.

Another sign that your country is determined to take its place in the Euro-Atlantic family.

Contributing to greater security and stability for all.

At times like these, friends and Allies are more important than ever.

And North Macedonia now has the best friends and the best Allies in the world.

We are all safer and stronger together than alone.

So welcome to NATO.