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NATO chief sees July decision on launching Macedonia talks

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, listens to a question after delivering a pre-NATO summit speech at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, June 21, 2018.

MATT DUNHAM/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 25, 2018

BRUSSELS  — NATO's chief says he expects the leaders of the military alliance will decide at a summit next month to officially launch membership talks with Macedonia.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that "I expect and I hope that NATO leaders at the summit will decide to start accession talks."

U.S. President Donald Trump and his NATO counterparts will meet in Brussels on July 11-12.

The news comes after Greece and Macedonia agreed to end a decades-long dispute over the latter's name. It will be renamed North Macedonia.

Greece had long insisted on the name change, arguing that its northern neighbor's name implies claims on a northern Greek province also called Macedonia, and on ancient Greek heritage.

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