Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tsipras: 'Republic of North Mecedonia' for universal use

A decades-long dispute over the name of the tiny nation of Macedonia at last reached a peaceful conclusion Tuesday, with the Balkan nation agreeing with Greece to change its name to "North Macedonia".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that all of Greece's concerns had been addressed with the new name, according to the Associated Press.

"We have a deal", Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. "I'm happy because we have a good deal which covers all the preconditions set by the Greek side", Tsipras said in televised comments on June 12.

The dispute over the "Macedonia" name had been a thorn in relations of the two countries at least since 1991, when Macedonia broke away from former Yugoslavia, declaring its independence under the name Republic of Macedonia.

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Athens, which like all members of both organisations has a veto over admissions, objected to its neighbour's use of the name Macedonia, arguing that it, along with articles in the constitution, could imply territorial claims over its own northern region of the same name.

Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev made the announcements shortly after speaking by phone on Tuesday. Both were expected to issue public statements later in the day. Greek opponents of the deal say modifying the name would not go far enough.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on May 19 that the name of the "Republic of Ilinden Macedonia" could be a possible compromise to be reached between Skopje and Athens in a dispute over the name of the country. A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit is scheduled for mid-July.

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