U.S. President congratulates Greek PM on Macedonia name issue agreement

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-21 20:38:20|Editor: xuxin
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ATHENS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the ratification by the Greek Parliament of the historic agreement with Skopje to resolve the longstanding row over the use of the name Macedonia, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Thursday.

The deal is a historic achievement for the Balkans, Trump wrote in a letter to Tsipras, according to AMNA.

The U.S. leader said Greece has proved to be a pillar of stability in a complex region, hoping that the deal will inspire other countries in the region to resolve their bilateral issues.

Trump reiterated that Greece is an important ally and partner of the United States, which looks forward to continuing cooperation to ensure peace and prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, AMNA reported.

Following the ratification by Skopje earlier this year, the Greek parliament approved on Jan. 25 the deal reached last summer which resolves a 28-year old dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Since 1991, when FYROM declared independence from Yugoslavia and chose the name Macedonia, the same name of a province in northern Greece, Greeks protested, fearing territorial claims by the new Balkan state.

Under the agreement which was reached after marathon UN-mediated talks, FYROM is renamed "the Republic of North Macedonia" and the doors for it to join the European Union (EU) and NATO open.

After the signing of an accession protocol with NATO in early February, Greece's neighbor has already started using its new name.