Reports from Brussels are claiming NATO has offered membership talks to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Membership of the alliance had been blocked over the long-running dispute about the country’s name, which saw Greece veto Skopje’s progress in joining NATO and the EU.
However, the recent deal between Greece and FYROM to rename the state ‘North Macedonia’ – while still unratified – has apparently seen NATO extend an offer to begin negotiations.
FYROM’s membership is conditional of the deal with Greece being successful.
In comments reported by the MIA news agency, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “We welcome the historic agreement between Athens and Skopje on the solution of the name issue. In line with our policy, we have decided to invite the government in Skopje to begin accession talks to join our Alliance.
“Full implementation of all prescribed internal procedures with respect to the agreement on the solution of the name issue is a condition for a successful conclusion of the accession process.”