Macedonia, Greece end decades-long bitter name dispute

EPA-EFE/NIKOS ARVANITIDIS

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Kotzias and Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov signed the agreement that could end the 27-year long name dispute between the two countries. 

When and if ratified, the agreement will see the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia being renamed the Republic of North Macedonia.

This is our own rendezvous with history. (…) We are here to heal the wounds of time”, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told officials on the shore of Lake Prespa.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev called on critics of the agreement, which was announced five days ago, “to step out of the past and look to the future”, The Guardian reported.

The signing ceremony was attended by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.

FYROM Greece agmt 2

It is indeed a historic day, today, and especially something the citizens of the future North Macedonia deserve: to get this opportunity of a clear Euro-Atlantic prospective. I am equally confident that in two weeks’ time the European Member States will give an adequate positive answer to this European prospective. And then of course we have to take the next steps, because while today is the end of a journey, it is also the beginning of a new one leading to the European integration”, said Hahn.