German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to implement a name change agreement signed with Greece in June so as to deepen bilateral cooperation and unlock the Balkan country’s path to EU and NATO membership.
The government in FYROM on Monday adopted a draft law on changing the country's name and passed it to Parliament for adoption. A referendum on the deal held last month failed to pass turnout thresholds, leaving it to Parliament to settle the issue.
In a letter to FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev made public Tuesday, Merkel said that “the agreement offers an opportunity for a historic deal and for strengthening the relations between the two countries.”
She said that embracing the deal will also “eliminate the key obstacle for the country's accession to the European Union and NATO.”
“Now it is crucial for the country to take very significant steps toward implementing the name agreement by adopting the necessary constitutional amendments,” Merkel said, adding that she will continue to cooperate with FYROM officials toward this goal.