UN envoy asks Greece to ratify deal with Macedonia over name change

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-21 06:29:58|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Matthew Nimetz, the UN envoy who brokered a Greece-Macedonia deal on their dispute over the latter's name, has asked Athens to ratify the deal as Skopje has completed its internal legal procedures.

Skopje on Wednesday formally informed the Greek government of its ratification of the deal known as the Prespa Agreement, following a parliamentary vote on Dec. 13, Nimetz said in a statement on Sunday.

"Upon the notification by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of the completion of the related constitutional amendments and its internal legal procedures for the entry into force of the agreement, consideration and subsequently proceeding with the ratification of the agreement by the Hellenic Republic, through its national processes, would be in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Prespa Agreement," said the statement.

"I look forward to the completion of the process as outlined in the agreement. As in the past, the United Nations remains committed to working with the two parties in finally resolving the difference between them," said Nimetz, the personal envoy of the UN secretary-general for the name issue.

Greece and Macedonia have been in dispute since 1991, when the former Yugoslav republic gained independence. Greece has objected to its neighbor's constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia, fearing that the name indicates territorial ambitions over the northern Greek province of Macedonia. Greece's objection has impeded Skopje's bids to join NATO and the European Union.

Under the UN-brokered Prespa Agreement in June 2018, Macedonia's constitutional name would become "the Republic of North Macedonia."