Merkel invites Macedonian citizens to participate in name referendum

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-09 01:06:33|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SKOPJE, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Macedonian citizens to participate in the name referendum on Sept. 30 to decide for their future and the future of the country, as her political message conveyed during her official visit in Macedonia on Saturday.

During the press conference with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Merkel emphasized that the people on Sept. 30 have the chance, the same as 27 years ago (when they voted for their independence), to vote whether they want to be part of European Union (EU) and NATO family, which requires at the same time to accept the agreement with Greece.

In his speech, Zaev expressed satisfaction on German support for Macedonia to the strategic goals to join EU and NATO, and mentioned that 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the two countries.

"This visit is yet another encouragement that the great powers back the two countries to implement the Prespa Agreement and a confirmation that it guarantees Macedonia's future and our place in the EU and NATO," said Zaev.

The agreement on the name settlement and the strategic partnership between the country and Greece was signed in June in Greece's Prespa region. It requires the approval in a referendum.

Merkel and Zaev also discussed on the economic cooperation between the two countries.

According to Zaev, Germany is the number one trade partner of Macedonia, and trade exchanges are estimated at over 3.6 billion U.S. dollars.

On her side, Merkel called the two countries' relations as intensive, friendly and successful.