Macedonia and Greece reach agreement on "Northern Macedonia"

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement on

Both sides have come to an agreement and we can say goodbye FYR and hello to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Greece and Macedonia have reached an historic accord to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name that has troubled relations between the two neighbours for decades.

Macedonia was previously only recognized by organizations such as the United Nations by the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev addresses the media at the government offices in Skopje, Macedonia on June 12, 2018.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev said the former Yugoslav republic's new name for both domestic and global purposes would be Republic of North Macedonia.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' governing coalition partner, said he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote, meaning the left-wing prime minister will need to seek support from political opponents.

"There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference after a telephone conversation with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

Mr Tsipras said the deal dictates "a clear distinction between Greek Macedonia and our northern neighbours".

Skopje hopes to secure a date to begin accession talks at an European Union summit in late June, and an invitation to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in mid-July.

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Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added: "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".

Matthew Nimetz said in a statement Tuesday he has "no doubt this agreement will lead to a period of enhanced relations between the two neighboring countries and especially between their people". "And it will help to consolidate peace and stability across the wider Western Balkans".

People's nationality will be defined as "Macedonian/Citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia". But its southern neighbor, Greece, has regions that use the same name, and both countries argued that they had the rightful claim to it.

He added that Macedonia would take a new "compound name with a geographical denominator", without spelling out the name.

"Today is a hard day for the Republic of Macedonia".

Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and heritage of the region, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. "I am keeping my fingers crossed".

Tsipras added that once Skopje ratifies the deal in Parliament and revises its constitution to rid it of anything that could be construed as irredentist, then Athens will lift its objections to FYROM's European Union accession and its induction to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Zaev said that the name will be used both domestically and internationally, which should be confirmed by a constitutional amendment.

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