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    Macedonian Army honor guard officers change the national flags during a special ceremony in front of the government building in Macedonia's capital Skopje, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013

    Macedonia to Become NATO Member Soon, Then Join EU - Prime Minister

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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - Macedonia will soon become a member of NATO and then accede to the European Union, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Saturday.

    "Lawmakers of the Assembly [parliament] of the Republic of Macedonia gave us the opportunity to enter the open doors of the largest western associations in the world by a 2/3 majority of votes following the will and strategic interests of citizens… Now, our accession to NATO, which is underway already, will continue with increased pace and a clear outcome. We also expect negotiations on joining the European Union to start," Zaev said.

    On Friday, 81 out of 120 members of the parliament supported the amendments needed to rename Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia, which is expected to open the way for the country’s accession to NATO and the European Union.

    On September 30, Macedonia held a referendum on its renaming after Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers signed a relevant agreement in June. While over 90 percent voted in favor of the deal, only a third of eligible electors took part in the referendum.

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    membership, EU, NATO, Macedonia
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