Name Agreement Signed in Greek Village of Psarades

On Sunday, FM Nikola Dimitrov and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, signed in the Greek village of Psarades the Final Agreement for the Settlement of the Differences as described in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 817 (1993) and 845 (1993), the Termination of the Interim Accord of 1995 and the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the Parties. The document was also signed by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, on his birthday. He said solving the name dispute had seen Dimitrov, Kotzias and the two PMs, Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev and Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, display leadership, courage and vision. As the mediator added, he has received a big birthday gift. According to Zaev, one should learn from history instead of repeating its content. As he added, Macedonia is proud that it has chosen a uniting solution.  “This is a formal act and an expression of the commitment to finding a solution that is in the interest of the two countries’ citizens and future,” he stated. Tsipras said the deal was a brave, historic and necessary step for the two peoples. “We are here to heal the wounds of time, to open a path for peace, fraternisation and growth for our countries, the Balkans and Europe,” he added. The Greek PM considers that Nimetz couldn’t have picked a better day for the signing than his birthday. The EU’s Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, were among those present. “It is indeed a historic day, today, and especially something the citizens of the future North Macedonia deserve: to get this opportunity of a clear Euro-Atlantic prospective. I am equally confident that in two weeks’ time the European Member States will give an adequate positive answer to this European prospective. And then of course we have to take the next steps, because while today is the end of a journey, it is also the beginning of a new one leading to the European integration,” Hahn stated. According to him, everybody will see at the end of the day that the agreement is good. Mogherini, too, voiced satisfaction. “Today is a very good day. First of all, it is a very good day for the two countries; but we are here, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and myself, to say it is also a very good day for the European Union, for Europe as such, for the Balkans,” she pointed out after the delegations’ arrival in Otesevo (Macedonia) the same day. Mogherini also stated that many people had been sceptical about the possibility of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. “We are there, thanks to the dedication, the commitment, I would say the courage, the leadership, and the hope that the Prime Ministers, the Foreign Ministers have put in this process,” she added. Mogherini described the solution as win-win. “We are here today, first of all to thank the two sides, because they make us all Europeans proud of the capacity to find – through diplomacy, through dialogue – a win-win solution for a problem that was long-standing for too many decades. It makes Europe more peaceful, more united and that also opens the way for the entire region of the Balkans to live in a different kind of atmosphere. I hope and I believe this will be a source of inspiration for many in the region to take bold, brave, courageous steps; and also for the whole of Europe, because these are not times where diplomacy and dialogue and hard work are always the guiding stars, the compass,” she underlined. After the lunch organised in Otesevo, Kotzias said he was satisfied with the agreement. According to him, an intensive period is ahead. “I will go to Skopje soon in order for us to discuss parts of the agreement,” the Greek FM stressed. In an interview with 24 TV after the signing, FM Nikola Dimitrov said the deal is a key opening a door towards the EU, while Member States will recognise a chance to ensure a future for the Union.

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