President welcomes agreement between Athens and Skopje over ‘name issue’

Michele Nicoletti, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has welcomed the agreement reached between the authorities in Athens and Skopje over the “name issue” which has divided the two countries for many years.

“This is very good news,” said Mr Nicoletti. “I congratulate the leaders of both countries on showing the flexibility and good sense to find a compromise on this difficult issue. This represents a historic opportunity to move forward, and I urge Macedonian citizens and the Greek Parliament to approve the new name in forthcoming votes.”

“Over the years, the Assembly has encouraged the two states to reach agreement, and supported the process of dialogue,” said Mr Nicoletti, who discussed the issue in April with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and the following month with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “I am happy that these efforts – and of many others – appear to have borne fruit, and call on both countries to finalise the arrangement at the earliest opportunity."

"I am confident that this agreement will contribute to further strengthening regional stability in South-Eastern Europe, as well as allow our member States in the region to deepen co-operation and move forward with the European integration agenda,” concluded the President.