ATHENS: Greece has agreed to recognise its northern neighbour as ‘Republic of North Macedonia’, ending a long-running dispute over the name of the former Yugoslav republic.
FYR Macedonia’s pro-EU prime minister, Zoran Zaev, tweeted: “We have a historic, century-old solution. With the decision, we strengthen the Macedonian identity.”
The name FYR Macedonia is controversial for Greeks because it uses the same name as a neighbouring region in northern Greece.
Athens claims the region Macedonia, which lies just across the border from FYROM, has used that name since the times of Alexander the Great.
The name dispute was an issue between Belgrade and Athens before the 1990s when the People’s Republic of Macedonia made up part of Yugoslavia.
But it really came to prominence in 1991 when FYROM declared its independence from Yugoslavia.
Donald Tusk, Jens Stoltenberg, and European MEPs took to Twitter to congratulate Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and Zaev on the deal.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, congratulated both prime ministers in a statement for “their determination and leadership in reaching this historic agreement between their countries.”__EuroNews