North Macedonia expects NATO membership, EU talks date by year-end

North Macedonia expects to become a member of NATO by the end of this year and hopes to get a date for the start of European Union (EU) accession talks in October, President Stevo Pendarovski said on Monday.

NATO members signed an accord in February allowing the ex-Yugoslav republic to become the 30th member of the US-led military alliance, after a deal with Greece ended a long dispute over its name. The ratification process normally takes a year.

The European Commission formally recommended in May that North Macedonia should start negotiations to join the EU.

"We expect ... that the European Union will in October accept its decision about the date for (the start of EU accession) talks," Pendarovski told a news conference on a visit to Slovenia, his first trip abroad after being elected in May.

Pendarovski said he expected all NATO members would in...

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