Jan 11, 2019

Macedonia approves name change in step toward joining NATO

A demonstrator waves the old Macedonian flag during a protest against a process of renaming the country. Photo: Robert Atanasovski/AFP via Getty Images

Macedonia finalized its end of a deal with Greece Friday to rename itself the Republic of North Macedonia, paving the way for the Balkan state's entry into NATO and possibly the EU, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Greece, which must now ratify the agreement, had previously opposed the country joining NATO and the EU because of a dispute over the name "Macedonia," which it claimed "implied territorial claims by to a Greek province of the same name," per Reuters.

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