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Zaev optimistic of name deal’s ratification, looks forward to new passport

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The prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Wednesday expressed optimism that the name deal with Greece would be ratified by Parliament in Athens this week, saying that he looks forward to getting a new passport for the “Republic of North Macedonia.”

“I will probably be the first person to change my passport… I was the first to shout: ‘Long live the Republic of North Macedonia,’” Zaev reportedly told broadcaster Alsat, according to translated comments in the Greek media.

“This is not going to be easy for out people, but it gives hopes and prospects for the future,” Zaev said, referring to domestic opposition to the country's name change under the Prespes agreement.

Zaev added that he is also confident that FYROM will be able to start accession talks with NATO in mid-February if the deal passes in Athens this week, as planned.