US Ambassador to Macedonia Kate Byrnes painted a rosy picture of 2019 in her New Year greeting, congratulating the country on being close to joining NATO, holding a large military exercise and “showing readiness to open accession talks with the EU”.

Your country ended the year sitting at the table with its future NATO allies in London, poised early in 2020 to finally realize the long held aspiration to join the Alliance. This is a fitting capstone to a year that began with “North” Macedonia’s signing of the NATO accession protocol back in February, Ambassador Byrnes said, expressing hope that “North” Macedonia will see an increase in investments and tourism after joining NATO.