Joint press point
with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov
Foreign Minister Dimitrov, Dear Nikola,
It’s really great to see you here. Welcome back to NATO headquarters. You have been here before. But today is a special day since today we signed the accession protocol for your membership in the Alliance.
Today is a historic day for your country, and a proud day for us all.
NATO Ambassadors have just signed the Accession Protocol for the future Republic of North Macedonia.
I want to congratulate both Skopje and Athens for showing commitment and courage in reaching an agreement on the name issue.
We can now look to the future.
As Allies start to ratify the Protocol.
Once all Allies have ratified the Protocol, Skopje will become the 30th member of the Alliance.
Membership will give you a seat at the North Atlantic Council.
You will have an equal voice in shaping the decisions we take as Allies.
You already make important contributions to our shared security.
Contributing to our mission in Afghanistan;
Promoting regional cooperation in Southeast Europe;
And you are also implementing major reforms.
NATO keeps almost one billion citizens across Europe and North America secure.
And with you joining NATO there will be thirty countries committed to protect each other.
Your accession will bring more stability to the Western Balkans.
This is good for the region.
And for Euro-Atlantic security.
From today, your country will participate in NATO meetings as an “invitee”.
We look forward to welcoming Defence Minister Radmilla Shekerinska [sje-ke-rinn-ska] as early as next week.
And to inviting Prime Minister Zaev to the Leaders’ meeting.
I’m happy to announce that the Leaders meeting will take place in December in London.
London was our first Headquarters in 1949, so this is an ideal setting to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary.
We are grateful to the UK for agreeing to host the meeting.
And for playing a key role in our alliance over the decades.
Nikola, today’s signing of the accession protocol shows what diplomacy and statesmanship can achieve.
And I really look forward to seeing thirty Allied flags fly outside NATO headquarters.
So once again welcome to the NATO headquarters. Congratulations with the signing of the accession protocol. We look forward to welcoming you in at the NATO Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Washington in April. Welcome once again.