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    A person walks near a sign that reads welcome to Macedonia at the Macedonia-Greece border April 16, 2018

    Macedonia’s President Refuses to Sign Agreement With Greece on Renaming Country

    © REUTERS / Ognen Teofilovski
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    The day before, Greece announced that an agreement with Skopje on the new constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia had finally been agreed, which was due to put an end to the decades-long dispute between the countries.

    During his address to the nation, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov made an announcement that he wouldn't sign a new name deal with Greece.

    "This damaging treaty, unique in the history of mankind, is unworthy and unacceptable for me. It violates the constitution, laws, and destroys state institutions. I will not legalize this amateur political move," the president stated.

    Earlier in the day, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias warned that it was in Macedonia's interests to endorse the deal and thus clear the way for the country's possible EU accession, referring to the fact that the name issue has been blocking Skopje's aspirations to join NATO and the European Union for years.

    READ MORE: Greece Hopes to Solve Cyprus Issue After Name Change Deal With Macedonia

    On Tuesday, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that he had reached a deal with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the decades-long name issue, agreeing that Macedonia would be named the Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.

    Greece and Macedonia have been at loggerheads over a long-running dispute over the name of the Republic of Macedonia. Greece regards "Macedonia" as a term referring only to one of its northern regions and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, and thus 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 is settled.

    Related:

    Greece Hopes to Solve Cyprus Issue After Name Change Deal With Macedonia
    Macedonia Will Now Be Known as Republic of Northern Macedonia - PM Zaev
    Macedonian PM Plans to Talk to Tsipras About Naming Issue Within Days
    Macedonia Must Revise Constitution to Resolve Republic's Name Issue - Tsipras
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    renaming, deal, Macedonia, Greece
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