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EU's Tusk strongly backs North Macedonia's membership

European Council president calls on EU leaders 'to do share' on Skopje's accession

Diyar Guldogan   | 17.09.2019
EU's Tusk strongly backs North Macedonia's membership

ANKARA

Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday reiterated his strong support for the accession of North Macedonia to the bloc.

"I expressed my personal views clearly back in June: your country, within the last two years, has done everything that was expected of you for the EU to be able to launch the negotiations in line with the European Commission's recommendation.

"That continues to be my strong conviction. Your country has done everything," Tusk said after meeting with North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Tusk -- due to be succeeded this December by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel -- praised North Macedonia's efforts over the past years, including the name dispute with Greece.

He also said that there is no doubt in Brussels about North Macedonia's political commitment to the rule of law and to fighting corruption.

"Skopje is the best possible place where I would like to appeal to the leaders of the European Union: Now you do your share. Because North Macedonia has already done its share," Tusk said.

North Macedonia, formerly known as Macedonia, changed its name under a June 2018 agreement with Greece, ending a longstanding dispute between the two countries.

Due to Athens’ veto, the dispute had been one of the main obstacles to Macedonia’s ambitions to join NATO and the EU.

In June, the EU Council welcomed the historic Agreement and took good note of the EU Commission's recommendation to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia, and also Albania.

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