Saturday, 15 December 2018 | News today: 1

FMs Kotzias and Maas call name deal ‘historic’ for stability in the region

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The Greek Parliament has a majority to ratify the Prespa Agreement, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Thursday after a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.

FM Maas visited Macedonia earlier this week as part of his regional tour, where he held talks with top state officials.

Maas and Kotzias discussed the Prespa Agreement calling it ‘historic’ and ‘a historic chance’ that would contribute to stability in the region, MIA’s Athens correspondent reported.

“I sincerely hope that this historic decision will be implemented, because it contributes to friendship between the two nations and more importantly, it contributes to stability in the wider region,” FM Maas told a news conference in Athens.

Kotzias noted that the Prespes Agreement had helped Greece “get out of a prison that some hope we will re-enter”. He said he hoped that the name referendum would be successful.

“I hope and I believe the referendum will pass, the required turnout will be met. Afterwards, the future North Macedonia will have to make a series of constitutional changes,” stated the Greek Minister.

The changes, according to him, are chiefly related to irredentism. One major issue, Kotzias said, is the name of the church, but now we won’t discuss this.

Kotzias said that most likely the Greek Parliament would ratify the agreement in January, followed by a ratification of NATO’s decision to grant membership to Macedonia.

Furthermore, Minister Kotzias told the news conference that the name agreement provided the Balkan region with stability and security.

On Thursday, German FM Maas also met with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.