NEWS

Greece, FYROM, to sign name change accord on June 17, say sources

TAGS: Politics, Diplomacy

Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will sign an accord on June 17 to change the latter's name, sources close to the process said on Friday.

The accord, which has triggered fierce opposition in both countries, would be signed in the Prespes region, a lake district on the borders of Greece, FYROM and Albania.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his counterpart Zoran Zaev have agreed the country will officially be called the "Republic of Northern Macedonia".

It is currently known formally at the United Nations under the interim name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

The deal has triggered fierce opposition in both countries. FYROM's president has vowed to block the accord, and in Greece, opposition has mounted a no-confidence vote against Tsipras in parliament.

Athens has long objected to its northern neighbour's use of the name 'Macedonia', saying it implies territorial claims on a northern Greek province of that name and amounts to appropriation of Greece's ancient cultural heritage.

The accord, which based on a draft is to be signed by the foreign ministers of both countries, requires ratification by national parliaments and must pass a referendum in FYROM. [Reuters]

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