Zaev and Dimitrov to brief Ivanov on name agreement

Zaev and Dimitrov to brief Ivanov on name agreement
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov  will meet on Wednesday at 10:00h with the President Gjorge Ivanov to brief him about the deal reached by Macedonia and Greece in the name talks.

Republic of North Macedonia, used both internationally and bilaterally, which will be further regulated in line with an amendment to the Constitution, is the deal reached by Macedonia and Greece in the process of negotiations aimed to solve the name dispute. Under the agreement, the Macedonian language will be affirmed in the United Nations - македонски, Macedonian, without a footnote. Also, its people will be known as Macedonians/citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Agreement would be presented before all relevant stakeholders in the country, signed by representatives of both governments, followed by ratification in the Parliament.

The Government will review the agreement at a session on Thursday, while a meeting between Zaev and Tsipras is to take place over the weekend or the days after, with the location of the signing event still not confirmed.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, commended Tuesday the premiers of Macedonia and Greece 'for their determination and leadership in reaching the historic agreement.'

“I have good news .. a while ago we reached an agreement with the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on an issue which has been on our minds for many years,” Tsipras told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a televised meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Zaev also informed VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickovski about the deal reached and today together with Dimitrov will meet the President Ivanov.

"Our investment in the compromise is a definition of a specified Macedonian name for our country, a dignified and geographically defined name, Republic of North Macedonia (Republika Severna Makedonija), translated in all languages," said Zaev.

Following the ratification, Greece will send a letter to the NATO Secretary-General, notifying him that the two countries have no bilateral dispute that would prevent Macedonia from getting a membership invitation.

In addition, Greece will also send a letter to the European Council President recommending a date for the start of the EU accession talks.

"We strongly believe that the European Council will take a decision for the start of Macedonia's accession talks on June 28. We strongly believe that Macedonia will get an invitation to join NATO at the July 12 summit in Brussels as its 30. member," stressed Zaev.

He said the solution is the right one, while citizens will have the final say at a referendum this fall.

"After our citizens confirm this historic agreement, Greece will ratify the deal in the parliament by the end of the year, alongside the protocol over our NATO accession," underlined PM Zaev.

The international codes for the country remain MK and MKD, while register plates will change into NMK, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told reporters on Tuesday regarding the practical implementation of the name deal.

"NMK will be put on the register plates to avoid any provocations," said PM Zaev, with the abbreviation referring to name Republic of North Macedonia.

Regarding the way in which the new name is to be introduced for internal use, Zaev explained that it would be used as each EU accession charter is opened.

"The new name will be introduced through the opening of each chapter, no later than five years. For example, when opening the education chapter no later than five years, the diplomas from our universities will change. A part of the internal changes cannot be encompassed by the chapters, meaning that internal use will eventually apply by the country's NATO full-fledged membership," added Zaev.

He clarified that the 'Macedonian' adjective would be used for everything that originates from the identity and the language, while the new name would be official for all aspects related to state institutions.

"By accepting the constitutional revision and ratification of the agreement, this government will be the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, but we will speak of a Macedonian Government," said Zaev.

Asked about Greece's concessions in the process of negotiations, the PM highlighted the acceptance of the Macedonian identity and the Macedonian language.

"These are their concessions. We have separated the Hellenic and our Macedonia," said Zaev.

After months-long and difficult negotiations, we have managed to reach an agreement with the FYROM PM for a solution of the name dispute, said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a public address on Tuesday, MIA reports from Athens.

During the 10-minute address, PM Tsipras referred to all aspects of the agreement, saying the new name would be Republic of North Macedonia, with the name change implemented in international and bilateral relations, but also within the country, adding there is a clear distinction made between "the Greek Macedonia and the northern neighbor, putting an end to the irredentism of the constitutional name".

"The agreement recognizes the UN resolutions of 1977 over the registration of the language of our neighbors as Macedonian language, with a clear formulation that the language belongs to the group of South Slavic languages, a fact that fully separates it from the Greek-Macedonian lingual heritage and the antique Greek civilization. The agreement also stipulates that the citizenship in the passports of our neighbors will not only read Macedonian but Macedonian/citizen of North Macedonia. Greece will recognize the citizenship of the neighboring citizens as 'citizens of North Macedonia'", explained Tsipras.

Opposition VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski has cancelled a trip, planned meetings for tomorrow and called on Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to immediately hand over to him the agreement on the name dispute with Greece.

‘At the onset he (Zaev) was against altering of the constitution. Afterwards he accepted a geographic identifier to later on convince the citizens of Macedonia that a constitutional revision and the solution Ilinden Macedonia were confirmation of the identity,’ Mickoski told a press conference on Tuesday.

Zaev, he said, wishes to ‘smuggle’ the agreement, as he as Prime Minister announced it earlier as a historic achievement.


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