Belgium: NATO formally invites Skopje to start accession talks

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg commented on Macedonia’s pending accession into NATO while giving a speech at the organisation's summit in Brussels on Wednesday. “We warmly welcomed last month's historic agreement between Athens and Skopje and today we agreed to invite the government of Skopje to start accession talks. Once all national procedures have been completed to finalise the name... Еще agreement, the country will join NATO as our 30th member,” he said. Stoltenberg also emphasised the need for NATO members to increase their defence spending, saying: “We all agree that we do not have fair burden sharing in our alliance today. We all agree that we need more cash in national defence budgets, more modern capabilities, and more contributions to missions and operations.” Chaired by Stoltenberg, the summit is set to discuss the most urgent issues for its members concerning international security and military affairs. Transatlantic trade agreements as well as the US withdrawal from both the global climate pact and Iran nuclear deal are on the summit’s agenda, as are defence spending contributions.

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