Zaev ‘pleased about Greece’s commitment’ to Prespes deal

Zaev ‘pleased about Greece’s commitment’ to Prespes deal

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said Thursday that his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras had assured him that the government in Athens remains committed to the Prespes accord.

The two leaders held a telephone conversation Wednesday following the resignation of Nikos Kotzias, regarded as the architect of the deal, as foreign minister.

“I am pleased about Greece’s commitment to the agreement,” said Zaev, according to state-run MIA news agency.

He also expressed the hope that FYROM lawmakers will ratify the country’s name change in Parliament following an abortive referendum on the matter.

“I have hope that the parliament will find the strength tomorrow, that PMs will be courageous, because they represent the citizens and then the political parties. I hope that they will seize this historic opportunity and give their vote for the need to open the constitutional revision,” he was quoted as saying.

The ruling centre-left coalition, which has 72 lawmakers in the country's 120-seat parliament, needs to secure a two-third majority to pass laws on constitutional changes. The remaining lawmakers belong to the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE, which also supports EU and NATO membership but opposes changing the country’s name.

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