US Senate Ratifies North Macedonia Admission to NATO

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North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev talks to the media during a news conference at the government building in Skopje, North Macedonia, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev talks to the media during a news conference at the government building in Skopje, North Macedonia, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

WASHINGTON — The Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ratify North Macedonia's entry into NATO as the alliance's 30th member.

Senators voted 91-2 on Tuesday to approve North Macedonia's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The no votes came from Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

North Macedonia has long sought NATO membership but was unable to join until it ended a decades-long dispute with Greece. In February, the country changed its name from "Macedonia" to "North Macedonia." Greece had blocked its neighbor's membership since 2008, saying use of "Macedonia" implied territorial claims on its own northern province of the same name and usurped Greek heritage.

North Macedonia is expected to formally join the alliance at a NATO leaders meeting in December in London.

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