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    • CommentAuthoralisa086
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2018
     
    Mattis is the latest in a string of international leaders visiting Macedonia to voice support for the referendum, and he's the most senior U.S. official to go there. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Austrian chancellor [url=http://www.buyusacigarettes.com]Newport Cigarettes Suppliers, all Quality Newport Cigarettes[/url] Sebastian Kurz have all visited and made public endorsements of the name change, saying it's critical in order for the country to join NATO, after years of waiting.
    Mattis said that he and other NATO allies "say right up front in open press what we think. We're not passing money to people behind the scenes, we're not putting together parties that we control or try to control."
    Russia has already been called out for trying to influence the vote. In July, Greece expelled two Russian diplomats accused of supplying funds to protest groups who were opposing the name change deal. Russia denounced the expulsions as unjustified.
    Greece, a member of NATO, has for years vetoed attempts by Macedonia to join NATO, complaining about the country's name ever since Yugoslavia broke up in the early 1990s. Greece argues that the name implies a territorial claim against the northern Greek region [url=http://www.buyusacigarettes.com]Newport 100's soft pack cigarettes - Cheap Cigarettes Online Sale Shop[/url] of Macedonia and its ancient heritage.
    NATO leaders in July formally invited Macedonia to begin membership talks on the condition that it wouldn't become effective until the name change was implemented.
    But there is widespread concern about Russian impact on the vote.











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