Amid hopes of a solution on the "Macedonia" name dispute, the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev clarified, during a press conference on Wednesday organized to mark the first year of his government's work, that "there is still no final agreement" but "an agreement on the principles, and the formal and legal aspect of the agreement."
A telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could be held "tonight, tomorrow or Friday," Zaev said, adding he expects to make a step forward.
Zaev did not disclose published information on the steps to be taken if an agreement on the name dispute is reached in terms of obtaining an EU membership date, an invitation to join NATO and a referendum on which citizens will have to say the final word on the agreement with Greece.
"There will be a referendum, citizens have the final vote," Zaev said, adding that "citizens are waiting for leadership, true patriots are the ones that provide a future for the citizens."
He said that the language and the identity of citizens have been confirmed in the planned agreement with Greece, and that the two countries had never been closer to a solution. Zaev also confirmed that FYROM aimed to ratify the agreement in Parliament by a majority of votes before a referendum so that Greece can send a letter to NATO in order for FYROM to receive an invitation to join the Alliance.
"We will become a NATO member after solving the name issue," Zaev said.
He repeated that FYROM will have its "fourth Ilinden" and said that it yearns "for a Macedonia in which citizens are free from prejudices and fears of the past."
Zaev refused to comment on whether the proposed name "Ilinden Macedonia" is still on the negotiating table.