NATO chief visits Macedonia before referendum on name change
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has arrived in Macedonia before a referendum planned in the country on whether to change its name and resolve a long-standing dispute with alliance member Greece.
Stoltenberg landed in the capital on Wednesday and is due to meet with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and other political leaders on Thursday, and back the campaign to change the former Yugoslav republic’s name to North Macedonia.
NATO officials said that he will also visit Athens on Thursday to meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
NATO leaders formally invited Macedonia in July to begin accession talks, following the preliminary agreement with Athens.
Macedonians will vote on the name deal on Sept 30. The change requires a constitutional amendment.