He called on them to look forward to a day when they could proudly find their nation’s flag waving in front of the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
JUST IN: In an initial vote, lawmakers in the Republic of Macedonia approved a constitutional amendment to change the countrys name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia
Very good news from Skopje on the constitutional vote of the Parliament to change the name of the country. Congratulations Republic of North Macedonia! This is very important step in the NATO and EU accession process @Dimitrov_Nikola
“We should raise our heads high, move past all the issues that divided our society,” Mr. Zaev told lawmakers before the vote on Friday.
Macedonia’s parliament passed an amendment to the constitution on Friday to rename the country Republic of North Macedonia in line with an agreement with Greece to put an end to a 27-year-old dispute.
The two countries struck the deal on the new name in June, but Macedonia will start using it only after the parliament in Athens also ratifies the agreement.
It was the penultimate step in what has been a long and tortuous journey for Macedonians and the government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, to finally, formally, end a dispute with Greece over the issue.
Daily Briefing: - Italy and Poland meet to discuss forming a eurosceptic alliance - Brexit debate resumes ahead of Tuesdays vote - Macedonias parliament expected to pass an amendment to change the countrys name
“My sincerest congratulations to political actors and citizens of the hopefully soon to be North Macedonia on parliament’s vote on the constitutional changes,” Hahn tweeted.
However, before that day can come, the Greek Parliament needs to vote to recognize the new name — which will likely prove no easy task given how deeply divisive the issue remains there.
SKOPJE, Macedonia — Ending a debate that has raged for decades and kept the small Balkan nation of Macedonia outside the fold of the NATO alliance, Macedonian lawmakers on Friday night agreed to officially change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.
Macedonian opposition parties and nationalists say changing the name of the country and national symbols is too high price to pay for Nato accession.
Greece blocked its neighbour’s aspirations to EU and Nato membership over the use of Macedonia which, it said, implied territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name.
Nationalists protest in #Skopje ahead of #Macedonia name-change deal vote