Two of the closest neighbors of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are welcoming the country's upcoming referendum on changing its name.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told the UN General Assembly on Friday that the agreement between Greece and FYROM to resolve their long-standing dispute over the name is an example of a "new spirit" between countries in the region.
Greece objects to the use of the word "Macedonia" saying it implies a claim to territory in the Greek province with that name and to the heritage of the birthplace of revered ancient warrior Alexander the Great.
Albania’s President Ilir Meta likewise welcomed the agreement in his speech to world leaders Friday, contrasting with FYROM’s own president, who told the assembly a day earlier that voters should abstain from Sunday's referendum on renaming the country "North Macedonia." [AP]