Yannakakis: Athens supports Skopje in EU and NATO, everything in hands of member-states

Yannakakis: Athens supports Skopje in EU and NATO, everything in hands of member-states
Ambassador Dimitris Yannakakis said Wednesday that Greece supports Macedonia in EU and NATO based on the Prespa agreement, adding that everything is now in the hands of member-states.

"This country aspires to become a member of the EU and NATO. Based on the Prespa agreement, Greece supports these efforts but the accession does not depend solely on Greece, but on all member-states of EU and NATO," Ambassador Yannakakis told the 98. Rose-Roth seminar in the Parliament.

He referred to the "historic" name agreement, which has put bilateral relations on new ground.

"A positive outcome of the referendum and the constitutional revision will enable Greece to ratify the NATO accession protocol of the Republic of North Macedonia, along with the Prespa agreement, which will then fully enter into force," added Yannakakis.

He stressed that the name agreement was not easy for both sides, reached after difficult negotiations that covered many sensitive issues.

"These issues aroused criticism in both countries. The Greek government strongly believes that the agreement will leave behind the difficult period and lead to the development of strong, deep and fruitful relations between the two countries," said the Greek Ambassador.

Regarding NATO, he said Greece is truly interested in enhancing security in Southeast Europe and beyond.

"Other than the name issue, Greece and FYROM or North Macedonia, as we hope to call the country in the coming months, had no major problems," added Yannakakis.

According to him, Greece wants a stable and prosperous neighbor, secure within its borders, a close friend to work with in the fields of trade and economic exchange.

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