Macedonian parliament agrees to change country's name to Republic of North Macedonia

Macedonia Lawmakers Set Again To Debate Name Change Amid Uncertainty

Macedonian parliament agrees to change country’s name

Mickoski told reporters the move Friday to change the country's name to North Macedonia to appease neighboring Greece was made against the desires of the Macedonian people "and is an act of treason".

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati tweeted after the vote, saying "the contribution of Albanian political parties once again proved to be a decisive factor".

Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million people.

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The countries struck the deal on the new name in June, but Macedonia will start using it only after lawmakers in Greece also ratify the agreement.

Although his junior coalition partner opposes the deal, Tsipras has voiced confidence he will be able to secure ratification with the backing of opposition lawmakers. "The vote on constitutional amendments that changed the name, identity, history and culture was done against the constitution".

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev secured the required majority in parliament on Friday that was needed to rename the country in line with a landmark agreement with Greece to end a decades-long dispute. "It makes absolutely plausible two of our biggest state interests - membership in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union". Representatives of the opposition conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, who said the agreement concedes too much to Greece, boycotted the vote. The remaining 39 opposition lawmakers stayed away.

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"The prime minister congratulated Mr Zaev on the successful conclusion of the process to revise the constitution of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia", Tsipras' office said in a statement.

For the deal to come into effect, Greece's parliament must now convene in coming weeks to ratify it.

He secured the required two-thirds parliamentary majority to push the constitutional change through.

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Greece is bound by terms of the deal to stop blocking Macedonia from NATOand other global groups and to allow it to start European Union accession talks as part of the deal.

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