WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has approved North Macedonia joining the NATO alliance as its 30th member state and has sent the treaty protocol confirming entry to the US Senate for its ratification, the White House said in a statement.
“I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to its ratification, the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia,” Trump said in the statement on Monday.
US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison has said the United States expects N. Macedonia to join the alliance in the fall of 2019.
In June, Macedonian government of Zoran Zaev and Greek government of Alexis Tsipras reached the so-called Prespa agreement on changing Macedonia’s name, identity and history.
The Macedonian parliament approved amendments to the country’s constitution on January 11 in line with the Prespa agreement despite the fact that the vast majority of Macedonians rejected the agreement in a September 30, 2018 referendum, in which they also rejected Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
The Greek parliament ratified the Prespa agreement on February 8.
The World Macedonian Congress has said the Prespa agreement is null and void not only because it runs counter to the Macedonian people’s expressed will in the September 30 referendum, as well as in previous referendum that affirms the Macedonians’ name and identity and sovereign republic, but also because Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov has not signed the deal.
The World Macedonian Congress has also said the Prespa agreement was pushed for a vote in parliament by a government coalition installed in power by the United States via a “colour revolution,” and under threat to parliamentarians’ freedom and physical safety.
A current attempt by the Zaev government to validate the Prespa agreement via elections for president of North Macedonia has been met with mass boycott by Macedonians, calling into question whether the threshold of 40 percent turnout in the second round on May 5 may be reached at all.