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Greek FM: Skopje To Announce New Constitutional Name for Macedonia

© REUTERS / Ognen TeofilovskiA person walks near a sign that reads "welcome to Macedonia" at the Macedonia-Greece border April 16, 2018
A person walks near a sign that reads welcome to Macedonia at the Macedonia-Greece border April 16, 2018 - Sputnik International
ATHENS (Sputnik) - Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said on Monday that Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev had already chosen country's new constitutional name among three proposed options, which are the Republic of New Macedonia, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, and the Republic of Upper Macedonia.

In an interview with the Greek Kontra TV channel, Kotzias said that Zaev’s choice would be announced on Tuesday, if the Macedonian and Greek prime ministers completed their phone negotiations the same day.

According to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s office, Zaev and Tsipras held a phone conversation on Monday and agreed to complete it on Tuesday morning.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech marking one year since he was first elected to power in Athens, Greece, January 24, 2016. - Sputnik International
Macedonia Must Revise Constitution to Resolve Republic's Name Issue - Tsipras
Greece and Macedonia are involved in a long-standing dispute over the official name of the Republic of Macedonia. Greece regards "Macedonia" as a term referring only to one of its northern regions and to the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, and insists on the use of another name for its northern neighbor.

In the 1995 interim bilateral accord, Greece agreed that the term "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) would be applied to Macedonia until the dispute was settled. The issue has been blocking Skopje's aspirations to join NATO and the European Union for years.

In late May, Zaev said that the negotiations between Skopje and Athens on the long-standing issue of Macedonia's name had reached their final stage, and that the new name will be put to public vote in September or October.

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