European Union officials and the NATO Secretary General congratulated FYROM’s PM Zoran Zaev for passing an amendment to the constitution to change the country’s name to North Macedonia on Friday.
In a joint statement, High Commissioner Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that the vote “is a crucial step in implementing the historic (Prespa) Agreement,” and said the EU “strongly supports this agreement which sets an example of reconciliation for the region and Europe as a whole.”
The full text of their joint announcement is as follows:
“We express our wholehearted congratulations on the Parliament’s vote on the constitutional changes today. This is a crucial step in implementing the historic Prespa Agreement.
Political leaders and citizens alike have shown their determination to seize this unique and historic opportunity in solving one of the oldest disputes in the region, and decisively move forward on the European Union path.
The EU strongly supports this agreement which sets an example of reconciliation for the region and Europe as a whole.
As we are awaiting the completion of the next steps leading to the full implementation of the Prespa Agreement, the European Union remains firmly committed to continue to fully support and accompany the country towards its common strategic goal of EU integration.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg conveyed his congratulations to FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev:
“I congratulate PM @Zoran_Zaev on the parliament’s final vote on the #PrespaAgreement. #NATO strongly supports the full implementation of the agreement, which is an important contribution to a stable and prosperous region,” Stoltenberg said in a tweet.
The Agreement’s ratification by FYROM opens the way for the country’s NATO membership.
Former Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, one of the architects of the Prespes accord, welcomed the approval of the agreement by the Parliament in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Friday, saying “history should be a school and not a prison.”