Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has handed over a formal invitation to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to begin membership negotiations today in Brussels.

“The agreement over the name has removed all obstacles to opening accession talks. You have made crucial progress that paves the way for your country to become a full member of NATO. Now, detailed accession negotiations will begin, which will help your country make the final preparations for full membership”, Stoltenberg stated.

Prime Minister Zaev expressed his gratitude to the Secretary General, and also thanked the prime ministers of neighboring Greece and Bulgaria, for the reaching the agreements on good neighborly relations.

“This is a historic decision for the country and citizens; it is recognition of our dedicated work for two decades and for all Macedonian politicians from independence until today”,said Zaev.

He expressed confidence that Macedonia’s membership will consolidate democracy in the region and serve as a positive example in the Western Balkans

“As the future 30th country of the Alliance, we are ready to set a positive example and contribute to the transformation of the Western Balkans, into a peaceful, prosperous and democratic region,” Zaev added.