NEWS

Britain’s top diplomat sees name deal as regional plus

britain-amp-8217-s-top-diplomat-sees-name-deal-as-regional-plus

Britain's foreign secretary has congratulated Greek lawmakers for accepting a deal to resolve the protracted disagreement over the use of the name Macedonia.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the Greek parliament's ratification of the agreement on Friday as a "historic moment bringing a decades-old dispute close to an end."

The deal will see the young nation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia renamed North Macedonia in return for Greece dropping objections to its northern neighbor's membership in NATO and, eventually, the European Union.

Opposition to the country being called "Macedonia" has been fierce in Greece, where critics say it implies territorial claims on a Greek province named Macedonia.

Hunt says the deal reached between the countries' prime ministers last year "brings the prospect of increased stability and prosperity to the wider region." [AP]