NATO endorsed an arrangement with Macedonia, opening the way for the Balkan nation to become the 30th participant of the military alliance.
Now every NATO participant will have to validate the accession protocol.
Last month, the Greek parliament supported the arrangement, ending the 27-year-old scandal over the name of the northern neighbor.
A long dispute meant that so far Greece also blocked Macedonia’s desire to join the European Union.
The NATO secretary general said the endorsing was a “historic day.”
NATO participating is the first significant victory for the government of Macedonia, our correspondent adds.
This means that Macedonia will now become the Republic of Northern Macedonia or, briefly, Northern Macedonia.
In addition to changing the name, the arrangement gives assurances that there will be no attempts to assign the territory of another country.