Joint press point
with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, Zoran Zaev
Prime Minister Zaev, my dear friend Zoran,
Welcome to the NATO Headquarters, welcome to NATO.
It is really a great honour and pleasure to meet you here today.
We have just had an excellent meeting.
We discussed the recent breakthrough in the name issue.
And I warmly welcome the agreement. It is a great achievement, for Skopje and for Athens. And a demonstration of the value of patient diplomacy.
And I would like to also commend you for your personal leadership, for your courage, making it possible to reach this agreement.
That’s important for all of us and I really congratulate you on that.
The name dispute has cast a shadow over the region for too long. It has held back prosperity and security. But now there is the chance for a brighter future.
The agreement sets an example for others across the region on how to consolidate peace and stability. So once again, congratulation to you and to Prime Minister Tsipras for the leadership and courage and commitment you both have shown in reaching this agreement.
At our Summit in two weeks, I expect that Allied Heads of State and Government will invite you to start accession talks.
And once all national procedures have been completed to finalise the agreement, you will join NATO.
Without the finalisation of the agreement, your country can not join NATO in the foreseeable future. So this is an historic opportunity which cannot be missed.
NATO’s door is open, and you are now on the doorstep. You have already shown your commitment to international peace and security, working with NATO. For example with your contributions to our presence in Afghanistan. And you are contributing to continuing stability in the Western Balkans.
NATO shares that commitment to security and stability in the region. It is important not just for the Western Balkans, but for the whole of Europe.
So Prime Minister, we want to see you and your country at the heart of a stable, democratic and prosperous region. And we will support you.
I look forward to continue to work together with you, and also to welcome you at the NATO Summit in July.
So once again, welcome to NATO.
- La Turquie reconnaît la République de Macédoine sous son nom constitutionnel.