ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on the long-running name dispute between Greece and neighboring Macedonia (all times local):
The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia say they have agreed on “Republic of Northern Macedonia” as the new name for the Balkan country, ending a bitter 27-year dispute that had prevented the former Yugoslav republic from joining international institutions such as NATO.
Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev made the announcements shortly after speaking by phone. The new name will be used both domestically and internationally, while Macedonia will also amend its constitution as part of the deal.
Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece’s northern region of Macedonia — birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.
The prime minister of Greece says his country has reached an agreement with Macedonia to end a decades-old dispute over the neighboring country’s name.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Tuesday that a deal had been reached to give Macedonia a different name, addressing all of Greece’s concerns.
Tsipras says the name would be used by the country both domestically and internationally. He did not, however, spell out what the name will be.
Greece had long demanded the former Yugoslav republic change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece’s northern region of Macedonia — birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.
The dispute has poisoned relations between the two neighbors since Macedonia’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
The leader of the junior partner in Greece’s coalition government says he will vote against a proposed compromise in a name dispute with neighbor Macedonia, leaving left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek support from political opponents.
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras’ government partner, said Tuesday he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote.
In a decades-old dispute, Greece wants the former Yugoslav republic to change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece’s region of Macedonia — birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great. Greek opponents of the deal say modifying the name would not go far enough.
A resolution of the dispute would see Greece lift objection to Macedonia’s accession to NATO.