Stoltenberg: We can hopefully start accession talks with Macedonia at the July Summit

Press Conference NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; Photo: NATO

PARIS / BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking for France 24, announced the potential decision to start accession talks with Macedonia, provided that the agreement with Greece is successfully ratified.

“The timeframe depends a bit on finalisation of the agreement in Skopje, but hopefully we can start the accession talks at the Summit, or at least make the decision to start them”, said Stoltenberg, referring to the annual meeting of NATO heads of state, which takes place in Brussels from 11 to 12 July.

While discussing NATO’s cooperation with non-member countries and potential enlargement, Stoltenberg especially highlighted the potential for progress when it comes to relationship with Macedonia. This was made possible by the last-weeks agreement with Greece on the name issue.

Concluding his remarks on the issue, Stoltenberg reiterated the importance of successful ratification of the agreement. “We can make the decision (to open negotiations) if everything moves on as planned when it comes to ratification process and referendum later this year”.