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Greece and North Macedonia sign new agreements, bolstering ties

Greece and North Macedonia sign new agreements, bolstering ties
By Symela TouchtidouPhilip Pangalos
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North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras signed what the two men termed historic agreements in Skopje


"Since the signature of the Prespa Agreement, we are constantly writing history," said Zoran Zaev during joint statements with his Greek counterpart Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after the two men had signed an historic agreement in Skopje between Greece and North Macedonia.

Earlier on, it was a case of all smiles and selfies as Alexis Tsipras became the first Greek prime minister to pay an official visit since 1991 to the newly named North Macedonia in a display of newly-friendly relations since a near 30-year name dispute was settled earlier this year.

Hoping to lay the groundwork for new ties between Greece and North Macedonia, Tsipras and North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev signed new agreements, while Mr Zaev noted that his country is hosting numerous representatives from Greece in the presence of many businessmen, which signifies a historical landmark.

"We are trying to make up for lost time, putting our differences behind us, beginning a journey towards the future with common interests," Mr Zaev said.

He underlined that the Prespa Agreement has fully materialised, giving the two countries the ability to fully exploit their commercial relations.

The Prespa agreement saw The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia change its name to North Macedonia. It was hoped that this would settle the dispute over a territory in Greece which is also called Macedonia.

"We are investing in the future. We are writing history, we are not being trapped by it, and I believe that this historic agreement has very strong foundations, something which, in my opinion, is already visible to everyone, even from those who recently questioned it," said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Prime Minister of North Macedonia said that he had made a very good friend in recent months, adding that "Alexis Tsipras is my friend, but also a friend of North Macedonia".

"The aim of the governments of Greece and North Macedonia is for the Prespa Agreement to start operating beyond the issue of the name, and the agreements that were signed today to become the basis of cooperation that will have a positive impact on the lives of citizens on both sides of the border," said Euronews correspondent Symela Touchtidou speaking from Skopje.

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