NEWS

Czech Republic urges EU to start talks with North Macedonia

czech-republic-urges-eu-to-start-talks-with-north-macedonia

The Czech prime minister has urged the European Union to start accession talks with North Macedonia, saying failure to do so would send the wrong message to would-be members of the bloc.

Andrej Babish said EU leaders should "keep their word" in starting negotiations with the small Balkan country, which changed its name under a deal to normalize relations with neighboring Greece.

The agreement earlier this year was designed to ease North Macedonia's way into NATO and the EU – which Greece opposed for years because of the name dispute.

North Macedonia has been a candidate to join the 28-nation union since 2005. Its government hopes accession talks will start by the autumn.

Babish spoke following talks in Skopje Tuesday with North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. [AP]