Name deal raises hope for outstanding Balkan issues, Slovenia president says


Slovenia’s president says an agreement resolving a long-standing dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) gives a boost to other nations in the Balkans to solve the region’s problems.

Borut Pahor said Wednesday that he views the agreement for FYROM’s new name, Republic of North Macedonia, as a “major signal encouraging resolution of bilateral and multilateral issues in the Western Balkans.”

He also said that the deal promotes “peace, security and the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the region.”

Tuesday’s agreement paves the way for FYROM to advance in its bid to join the European Union and NATO.

Tensions stemming from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s have persisted in the Balkans despite international efforts at reconciliation.

EU officials have been brokering talks between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, whose 2008 declaration of independence Belgrade does not recognize. [AP]