North Macedonian members of parliament on Tuesday unanimously ratified an agreement to make their country a member of the NATO military alliance.
All 114 lawmakers present in the 120-seat parliament voted in favor, with none against or abstaining. The vote was meant to take place in a few week’s, however, it was brought forward ahead of schedule as the current parliament is set to dissolve at the end of the week.
“By joining this alliance, we are not simply joining an international organization,” North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski told lawmakers ahead of the vote. “Membership of the world’s most powerful military-political alliance is a privilege, but also a huge responsibility.”
Today we witnessed history in the making, by making our future far more certain and predictable. North Macedonia Parliament just ratified the North Atlantic Treaty. We won’t walk the path alone any more. We will have 29 @NATO friends and allies beside us. #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/EEAg5nqyEj
— Nikola Dimitrov (@Dimitrov_Nikola) February 11, 2020
Pendarovski told reporters during a visit to NATO member Poland, “If everything goes according to plan concerning the political process, around March 10 that process should finish. There will remain some technical details that our parliament in Skopje will have to deal with.”
A NATO flag was raised in front of the parliament building during the short ceremony.
Spain is the only existing NATO member that hasn’t approved North Macedonia’s accession and its parliament is expected to hold a vote in March.
*Main source: AP