State Department thanks Kotzias for ‘dedicated service,’ reiterates support for Prespes accord


The US State Department thanked Greece’s former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias for his "dedicated service" to improving Greek-US relations and for his role in achieving the “historic” name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), following the Greek official’s unexpected resignation on Wednesday.

It also reiterated its strong support for the agreement reached between Athens and Skopje last June to end the decades-old name dispute.

“The US strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU as the Republic of North Macedonia,” a State Department official told state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

“As Macedonia’s parliament continues deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country,” the official added. 

Kotzias submitted his resignation Wednesday, a day after a tense cabinet meeting during which he clashed with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the Prespes accord. Kammenos has opposed the deal.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took over the post of foreign minister to ensure the successful completion of the accord.