The Government officially confirmed that Zoran Zaev reached an agreement with BESA party leader Bilal Kasami, and that the two members of Parliament who support Kasami will vote in favor of the amendments to rename Macedonia into North Macedonia.

Kasami objected to an article of the deal Zaev negotiated with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, that designated the nationality in Macedonia as “Macedonain/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia”. In talks with Greeks, Zaev announced it refers only to the citizenship, but at home, he and his SDSM party insisted that with this article, Greece “finally recognized the Macedonian national identity”.

This caused a reaction in BESA, which believes that the article declares its ethnic Albanian supporters as Macedonians. Without the BESA votes, Zaev did not have the two thirds majority in Parliament, and implementing their demand to completely erase the word “Macedonian” from the text of the agreement would then get other members of Parliament, primarily the group of eight former VMRO-DPMNE representatives, to abandon the deal.

Under the formula agreed today between Zaev and Kasami, the Albanian translation of the constitutional law that is accompanying the amendments will be determined under BESA’s wishes. Additionally, Zaev agreed that identity cards will in the future declared the ethnic background of the carrier. The Government informs that Zaev also agreed to work on additional issues raised by BESA in the future.