At the official ceremony in front of the Government building, the NATO flag was raised this morning marking a historical event following the signing of the Accession Protocol for Macedonia’s NATO membership last Wednesday, which triggered the final steps to full-fledged NATO membership under the name North Macedonia.
In the presence of almost the entire government cabinet, the ARM General Staff, military attachés in Macedonia, as well as former prime ministers and officials from public institutions and diplomatic corps, the ceremony began with the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia, followed by the act of raising the flag, while NATO’s anthem followed.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev then said in a speech that Macedonia succeeded in “preventing fate from being our future” and took charge of its destiny and said that “the Republic of North Macedonia will become an equal partner in the modern world” and no one will obstruct it anymore.
“Today, with confidence, we can say that our fatherland is on the right track towards progress and towards unhindered development. We succeeded in getting back to the main highway to Europe from the crossroads in the Balkans where we waited for decades. In the upcoming period we will be direct participants in the most significant period of the independence of the country and we will decide for ourselves on our future. Our future is no longer our destiny, we took charge of our destiny into our own hands,” Zaev said.
He also thanked the ARM and the mediator on the name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, as well as the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias, who put together the Prespa Agreement, and thanked his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras for his vision.
The Prime Minister, who in the second half of his speech began to constantly use the name North Macedonia, recalled both the People’s Liberation War and the two ASNOM sessions, which as he said, created the state and will soon be placed under the name North Macedonia and will stand shoulder to shoulder with Europe and the world.
“There was no better choice. We all have a path, that is the path to freedom, that is the path to Europe,” Zaev said, eventually declaring “Long Live Europe and Republic of North Macedonia!”.
The President of the State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Gjorge Ivanov did not attend the ceremony.