NATO Leaders to Formally Invite FYROM to Join Alliance

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will be formally invited by NATO to join the alliance during the summit meeting taking place in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

The invitation to the small Balkan state to become the 30th member of the U.S.-led alliance is conditional on FYROM adopting the new name that has been agreed in principle with NATO- member Greece.

Reuters reports that NATO diplomats have negotiated a wording for the invitation to be issued at the Brussels summit which will prudently avoid naming the country and will instead refer to “the government in Skopje”.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will join other NATO leaders, including President Donald Trump, in welcoming the beginning of FYROM’s accession talks to the Alliance.

Tsipras-Erdogan meeting

Tsipras will also be meeting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.

Athens says that the Greek premier will raise the issue of the Greek soldiers that are detained in a Turkish jail since early March.

Tsipras is expected to seek the support of fellow alliance members of the fate of Lieutenant Angelos Mitretodis and Sergeant Dimitris Kouklatzis being held in Edirne.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Tsipras would be raising the issue to exert “maximum pressure” on Turkey to release the men.

The meeting between Tsipras and Erdogan has been scheduled for Thursday, at 14.30, on the sidelines of the NATO summit