Greek PM makes first visit to North Macedonia
Published: April 2, 2019
Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece has finally arrived in the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje to make a new beginning in the relations of both the countries after the decades-old dispute was resolved earlier in the year. The Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zaev was extremely cordial to his Greek counterpart and also took a selfie with him after the formal photographs were taken. Zaev stated that “This is a historic day. Until now, we only watched opportunities go by and time waste away”.
Zaev also showed his office to Tsipras and also pointed to the photos of his son. He also said, “Our nations are showing how courageous decisions turn what was yesterday an impossibility today becomes reality”. Alexis Tsipras has become the first Greek Prime Minister to pay a visit to the neighbouring country ever since Macedonia was established both as the federal Yugoslav Republic in 1945 and finally as an independent country in 1991. It has been less than 60 days since Macedonia had agreed to rename itself as North Macedonia that Tsipras paid a visit to it thereby completely putting an end to the 28-year old dispute between the two nations.
The name Macedonia has been claimed by Greece due to its legacy and its ancient province in its north but later let its neighbour use the name by adding a geographic qualifier. The dispute had led Greece to block the way of North Macedonia to become a part of any international bloc or organisation like NATO. The two countries are now starting a new chapter after the name agreement.
The agreement has been pushed forward by the leaders of both the countries despite opposition from nationalists on either side of the border. Tsipras had stated that the deal had a great price politically. The leaders now have the responsibility to prove to their people that both the nations will eventually benefit from the agreement. Both the leaders now had to look forward and make economic cooperation a priority. Many contracts were signed between both countries with an aim to boost economic cooperation. A business forum will also be opened in Skopje and opening will be attended by leaders from both the nations and representatives from over 400 nations. Greece will also get both policing and protection of the airport of North Macedonia.