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'We have a deal,' Greece says on decades-old Macedonian name dispute
13 June 2018, 09:24 | Erica Roy
Greece Macedonia close in on name-dispute deal amid dissent
Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev hailed a "historic solution" today after Skopje and Athens resolved a longstanding row by agreeing to rename his country the Republic of North Macedonia.
Earlier, the Greek Prime Minister announced the breakthrough on the name, saying the accord would allow a clear distinction between Greece'sMacedonia province and the country.
"The two countries have agreed to the name Republic of Northern Macedonia, as opposed to the current UN-recognized name 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", pending the approval of the Greek and Macedonian parliaments.
Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece's northern region of Macedonia - birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.
Greece, an European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has also cited the dispute to veto Macedonia's bid to join the two organizations.
Zaev said resolving the long-standing issue would open Macedonia's access to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.
Speaking at a news conference in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Zaev described the deal as a "historic agreement of the century".
It is now known formally at the United Nations under the interim name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
It was admitted to the United Nations as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, because of Greece's objection.
In Skopje, meanwhile, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said earlier in the day that he remained opposed to writing the new name into the constitution, a move meant to show the change is permanent and binding for domestic and global use.
Macedonia's new name will be put up for a referendum, to be held in autumn.
Organizers of past rallies in Greece's main cities against a compromise with Macedonia also expressed outrage at the deal, with one accusing Tsipras of "high treason".
Both Albania and Macedonia hope to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union.
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his "sincere congratulations" to Tsipras and Zaev.
'This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy, and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long, ' NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a "philotimo subscriber".
"In essence, the (deal) is acceptance of all Greek positions", VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski said.
The prime minister of Greece says his country has reached an agreement with Macedonia to end a decades-old dispute over the neighboring country's name.
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