Roth: The name agreement is a unique chance for opening of EU and NATO doors

Roth: The name agreement  is a unique chance for opening of EU and NATO doors
Macedonia is writing history, not only a national one but also European. The name agreement with Greece is a unique chance for opening of EU and NATO doors. I would like to see our Macedonian friends in the group united in the two associations as soon as possible, said Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, who is paying a visit to Macedonia on Friday.

"I would like to encourage people in your beautiful country to embrace this historic opportunity. If you support the agreement, it will represent a significant sign that Macedonians are strongly committed to democracy, rule of law, judiciary independence. They will be become a crucial part of a united Europe. We must resume our cooperation, friendship and obligations. I am an optimist," Roth told reporters in Ohrid.

He took part in an interactive debate in the Antique Theatre, also including Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Deputy-Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Jani Makraduli, and Ohrid Mayor Jovan Stojanoski.

Roth voiced satisfaction from the fact that a large number of Macedonians live and work in Germany, contributing to the enrichment of the German society but also enhancement of the country's economy.

"We want to facilitate the way for their residence and work in Germany, to simplify this procedure," said Roth and noted the interest of German companies to invest in Macedonia, thus opening new jobs and improving the living standard of citizens, especially of young generations." noted Roth.

FM Dimitrov said the visits of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister Roth, as well as the pending visits of his counterpart and the defense minister, confirm Germany's strong interest for Macedonia to finally stand on its feet and move forward.

"On 30 September we will come to a huge, historic crossroad. I believe we will be successful, the stakes are high, the messages are clear, no one knows if this generation will have another chance. It is clear that the agreement has obstacles in Greece too, which means that finding a common language was difficult. We are Macedonians, we are speaking the Macedonian language, the PM addressed the European Parliament in Macedonian language yesterday and received a standing ovation. If the EP stood on its feet for a European Macedonia, then we can do the same on September 30," said Dimitrov.

He added that the issue goes beyond partisan lines, has nothing to do with governments and mayors, but the future of Macedonia and its citizens.

"Ten years of talking about a referendum, saying citizens will be asked if there is an agreement with Greece, and then not having a clear stance is shunning from responsibility and avoiding the people's will. This is not good for a party that often claims that it speaks on behalf of the people. The people talk through voting," said Dimitrov regarding VMRO-DPMNE's position on the referendum to let citizens act according to their own belief.

Pertaining to the Macedonian national codes, he said they remained as MK and MKD, whereas the Prespa Agreement does not close the issue of trademarks.

"The agreement only states how the issue will be treated. Until a solution is found, everything remains as it is, nothing can be changed without the consent of both sides. We have numerous trademarks with the prefix 'Macedonia', 'Macedonian' etc. A joint body of international experts will be established to find a way how to make this work. This is not important only for the identity part but also for the commercial interest," underlined Dimitrov.

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