One day before his official visit to Macedonia, in an interview for the Macedonian Informative Agency (MIA) the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras spoke about the benefits both countries can experience from the bilateral cooperation intensified after the signing of the Prespa Agreement. “Greece and North Macedonia must be partners and allies. Athens needs a stable and secure northern neighbour, while Skopje needs a strong neighbour that supports its European perspectives. We have made swift progress on important changes arising from the agreement, which as any other deal will be tested in critical areas as time goes by. Therefore, the dialogue and the trust we have established at all levels, beginning from mine with Zoran, are precious. We will need to discuss different aspects of the Prespa Agreement implementation to focus on. The first decisions of the Joint Inter-Disciplinary Committee of Experts over the textbooks will also be signed, and we will announce the establishment of a very important Committee on Trademarks. I believe the activities of the Greek diplomacy in 2018 for the start of North Macedonia’s accession process this June, but also the recent formation of the Group of North Macedonia’s Friends in the EU, highlight Greece’s importance in this regard. We went through many critical moments. Especially in the final days before closing the deal, when critical unresolved issues required delicate management. But this helped one side to understand the sensitivities of the other and find solutions. We must build mutual trust and North Macedonia should look to the future. Our region requires cooperation and stability. Greece needs a stable and secure northern neighbour, and North Macedonia needs a strong neighbour that supports its European perspectives,” Tsipras told MIA.