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Engel, McCaul Call for U.S. Support of North Macedonia NATO Membership

ENGEL, MCCAUL CALL FOR U.S. SUPPORT OF NORTH MACEDONIA NATO MEMBERSHIP

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Michael McCaul, Ranking Member, today urged the Trump Administration to support the future Republic of North Macedonia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Foreign Affairs Committee leaders emphasized that North Macedonia’s membership in NATO will help ensure stability and peace in the Balkans.

“Bringing North Macedonia into the NATO fold will substantially benefit not just North Macedonia and Greece, but also the United States and other Alliance members,” the Members wrote. “Importantly, North Macedonia’s NATO membership would also help the Alliance fend off Russian malign activities in the Balkans where Vladimir Putin is seeking to sow disruption and discord.”

Earlier today, NATO’s 29 members signed an accession agreement with Macedonia, setting the stage for it to become the Alliance's 30th member.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

 

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

We are writing to strongly support the future membership of the Republic of North Macedonia in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Once the Prespa Agreement enters into force and the country formally changes its name, membership in NATO will represent a critical step toward securing the peace, stability, and prosperity of Balkans.

On February 6, NATO is expected to sign the accession protocol with the Republic of North Macedonia, thus officially launching the process to make North Macedonia the newest member of the Alliance.  This seminal moment comes after decades of hard work and sacrifice by the Macedonian people.  It also reflects Greece’s commitment to peaceful and economically prosperous ties between the two countries.  Both the future Republic of North Macedonia and Greece deserve substantial credit for successfully resolving questions around the country’s name and making this historic moment a reality.

Bringing North Macedonia into the NATO fold will substantially benefit not just North Macedonia and Greece, but also the United States and other Alliance members.  North Macedonia’s membership will help bring stability to the Balkans, a region where NATO put an end to Slobodan Milosevic’s policy of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo only 20 years ago.  That North Macedonia would now join NATO is a ringing endorsement of NATO’s continued viability in the 21st century. 

Importantly, North Macedonia’s NATO membership would also help the Alliance fend off Russian malign activities in the Balkans where Vladimir Putin is seeking to sow disruption and discord.  Admitting North Macedonia will bring Europe one step closer to a continent free, whole and at peace. 

Again, we strongly encourage you to move swiftly to advance North Macedonia’s accession plans and incorporate it as the 30th NATO member.

Sincerely,

 

Eliot L. Engel

Chairman

 

Michael McCaul

Ranking Member