Greek parliament approves protocol for Macedonia to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Greek parliament

The Greek Parliament ratified by a narrow margin on Friday the protocol on Northern Macedonia's accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, according to the results of the vote.

Tsipras and his counterpart from Skopje, Zoran Zaev, achieved the Prespa Agreement, meant to bring to an end the decades-long dispute over the use of the name "Republic of Macedonia" by the former Yugoslav republic.

Last week, parliament ratified a historic deal to end the dispute about Macedonia's name, paving the way for the Balkan country to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the EU.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and members of his government applaud after a vote on changing Macedonia's name to North Macedonia in Athens, Greece, January 25, 2019. DD News has been successfully discharging its responsibility to give balanced, fair and accurate news without sensationalizing as well as by carrying different shades of opinion.

The vote was carried with the support of 145 votes from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party and six independent MPs.

"I feel we did our patriotic duty".

The Republic of North Macedonia inches closer to joining NATO, but how does a country get invited?

On Wednesday, Skopje signed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession papers in Brussels that will lead to Macedonia becoming the alliance's 30th member once the bid has been ratified by all members.

Athens asserted that the use of the name "Macedonia" suggests Skopje has territorial claims to Greece's northern region of Macedonia.

"This is the final act of a nationally damaging deed", he said.

The Greek parliament on Friday ratified the NATO accession protocol for neighbouring Macedonia - renamed North Macedonia - with 153 votes in favour, 140 against and one abstention. He said that the process being used for the ratification is demeaning for parliament and "unprecedented".

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