NEWS

Albania says FYROM name deal good for wider region

TAGS: Diplomacy

Officials in Albania have hailed the agreement between bordering Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to end their decades-long name dispute as good for the whole Western Balkans region.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama called his Greek and FYROM counterparts “two progressive leaders” and used their Twitter handles to give them praise, tweeting: “Balkans are today a better place thnx to you both.”

Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of FYROM’s 2.1 million people.

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati also congratulated “our neighbors & friends” for a “breakthrough agreement” that he said would lead the Balkans region to become part of the “Euro-Atlantic family.”

Both Albania and FYROM hope to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union. The European Commission in April approved the start of accession talks.

The final decision is expected from the European Council at the end of the month. [AP]

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