Greece, Macedonia reach deal to end name dispute

Under the agreement, the agreed name, the Republic of North Macedonia, will be used internationally and domestically, an issue that was a priority for Greece.

Greece and Macedonia have reached an agreement on how to end their long-running name dispute, a Greek government official said on Tuesday.

Tsipras said in a televised statement that Macedonia's name change would allow a clear distinction between Greece's province of Macedonia and the neighbouring country.

Following the latest round of discussions, Macedonia is now set to be known as the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

The Greek government has spent 27 years fighting with Macedonia over the use of the name, which references ancient Macedonia and by association its famous leader, Alexander the Great. Tsipras and Zaev spoke on the phone yesterday for an hour, and said they would continue their conversation today.

Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and heritage of the region, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. "There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference.

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Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' governing coalition partner, said he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote, meaning the left-wing prime minister will need to seek support from political opponents.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on May 19 that the name of the "Republic of Ilinden Macedonia" could be a possible compromise to be reached between Skopje and Athens in a dispute over the name of the country.

After splitting from the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia was admitted into the United Nations in 1993 as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

He added that Macedonia would take a new "compound name with a geographical denominator", without spelling out the name.

Macedonia has agreed to change its name to Northern Macedonia in order to end a decades-old row with Greece, which among other things prevented the former Yugoslav republic from joining the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

They also urged the Council to endorse opening EU accession talks with Macedonia, which the European Commission recommended in April. There were also rallies in Macedonia in spring, demanding the country's name to be left in place.

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