Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kotzias slams ND for criticizing FYROM name deal

Kotzias slams ND for criticizing FYROM name deal

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".

Tsipras and Zaev spoke on the phone yesterday for an hour, and said they would continue their conversation today.

Greece's Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia's Zoran Zaev said the former Yugoslav republic's new name for both domestic and worldwide purposes would be Republic of North Macedonia.

Greece regards "Macedonia" as a term referring only to one of its northern regions and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, and insists on the use of another name for its northern neighbor. He added that Macedonia "cannot and will not be able in the future to claim any connection with the ancient Greek civilization of Macedonia".

European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have welcomed a deal between Greece and Macedonia resolving a decades-long dispute over the Balkan country's name.

"We have been solving a two-and-a-half decade dispute. that has been drowning the country", he said, adding that the deal "will strengthen the Macedonian identity". "There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference.

Today the 27-year impasse ended as two nations finally came to a resolution: The former Yugoslav republic is getting a new name, the Republic of North Macedonia.

The leader of the junior partner in Greece's coalition government says he will vote against a proposed compromise in a name dispute with neighbor Macedonia, leaving left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek support from political opponents.

The United Nations envoy who has tried to mediate the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia for almost as long as the dispute has existed is congratulating the countries' prime ministers for resolving their differences.

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Apparently other names thrown into the pot included Gorna Makedonija (Upper Macedonia), Nova Makedonija (New Macedonia) and Ilinden Macedonia.

In February, as NPR's Joanna Kakassis reported, more than 140,000 Greeks marched to parliament in Athens as part of a "Macedonia is Greece" rally, chanting that the name "is in our soul".

"I now call on both countries to finalise the agreement reached by the two leaders".

"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", said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. However, Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes.

Both Albania and Macedonia hope to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. Tusk said: "Thanks to you the impossible is becoming possible", he said.

The Greek prime minister will now inform the country's president and will later give a televised statement.

Mr Tsipras added: "The name change will be implemented not only the country's global relations but also domestically".

Skopje also needs to revise its constitution, Tsipras said, before Greece ratifies the deal.

Veteran United Nations diplomat Matthew Nimetz, who has been a mediator in the name dispute since 1994, hailed the "leadership, vision and determination" of the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia, who have negotiated for months.

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