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Greece, Macedonia End Naming Dispute

Greece, Macedonia End Naming DisputeGreece, Macedonia End Naming Dispute

The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia signed an accord on Sunday to rename the former Yugoslav republic the “Republic of North Macedonia.” The landmark accord follows decades of inconclusive talks which had soured relations between the two countries and held up the admission of the Balkan state into the EU and NATO, of which Greece is a member, NBC News reported. The agreement still requires the approval of both parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia. “We have a historic responsibility that this deal is not held in abeyance, and I am confident that we will manage it,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said as he and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev received a standing ovation from guests at a lakeside ceremony. Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote mounted by Greece’s opposition in parliament on Saturday, but the depth of public emotion against the deal is strong. Greece had been in dispute with Macedonia since 1991 over the former Yugoslav republic’s name, arguing it could imply territorial claims over the Greek province of Macedonia and an appropriation of ancient Greek culture and civilization.

 

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