Foreign relations of North Macedonia


The foreign relations of North Macedonia since its independence in 1991 have been characterized by the country's efforts to gain membership in international organizations such as NATO and the European Union and to gain international recognition under its constitutional name, overshadowed by a long-standing, dead-locked dispute with neighboring Greece. Greek objections to the country's name have led to it being admitted to the United Nations and several other international fora only under the provisional designation Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Diplomatic relations


Diplomatic relations of North Macedonia

North Macedonia became a member state of the United Nations on April 8, 1993, eighteen months after its independence from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was referred within the UN as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", pending a resolution, to the long-running dispute about the country's name. Unusually, the country's flag was not raised at UN Headquarters when the state joined the UN.[1] It was not until after the country's flag was changed that it was raised at the UN Headquarters.[1] Other international bodies, such as the European Union,[2] European Broadcasting Union,[3] and the International Olympic Committee[4] had adopted the same naming convention. NATO also used that name in official documents but added an explanation on which member countries recognise the constitutional name.[5]

All UN member states currently recognise North Macedonia as a sovereign state. A number of countries recognised the country by its former constitutional name – the Republic of Macedonia – rather than the UN reference, notably four of the five permanent UN Security Council members (the United Kingdom, the United States,[6]

List of countries

List of countries with North Macedonia has diplomatic relations with:[7]

  1.  Slovenia – 17 March 1992
  2.  Croatia – 30 March 1992
  3.  Turkey – 26 August 1992
  4.  Belarus – 20 January 1993
  5.  New Zealand – 8 April 1993
  6.  Armenia – 27 April 1993
  7.  Bosnia and Herzegovina – 12 May 1993
  8.  Indonesia – 25 May 1993
  9.  Malaysia – 22 July 1993
  10.  Pakistan – 12 August 1993
  11.  China – 12 October 1993
  12.  North Korea – 2 November 1993
  13.  Angola – 10 November 1993
  14.  Germany – 16 December 1993
  15.  Netherlands – 16 December 1993
  16.  Denmark – 16 December 1993
  17.  United Kingdom – 16 December 1993
  18.  Italy – 16 December 1993
  19.  Norway – 20 December 1993
  20.  Bulgaria – 20 December 1993
  21.  Sweden – 20 December 1993
  22.  Albania – 24 December 1993
  23.  France – 27 December 1993
  24.  Finland – 27 December 1993
  25.  Iceland – 29 December 1993
  26.  Poland – 30 December 1993
  27.   Switzerland – 31 January 1994
  28.  Liechtenstein – 31 January 1994
  29.  Russia – 31 January 1994
  30.  Belgium – 14 February 1994
  31.  Japan – 1 March 1994
  32.  Czech Republic – 2 March 1994
  33.  Slovakia – 4 March 1994
  34.  Kyrgyzstan – 6 June 1994
  35.  Vietnam – 10 June 1994
  36.  Bolivia – 15 June 1994
  37.  Spain – 20 July 1994
  38.  Hungary – 29 August 1994
  39.  Luxembourg – 19 September 1994
  40.  Egypt – 14 November 1994
  41.  Portugal – 5 November 1994
  42.  Ireland – 13 December 1994
  43.   Holy See – 21 December 1994
  44.  Austria – 23 December 1994
  45.  Uzbekistan – 31 December 1994
  46.  Saudi Arabia – 11 January 1995
  47.  Romania – 11 January 1995
  48.  Moldova – 27 January 1995
  49.  India – 9 February 1995
  50.  Antigua and Barbuda – 21 February 1995
  51.  Iran – 10 March 1995
  52.  Estonia – 10 March 1995
  53.  Libya – 14 April 1995
  54.  Ukraine – 20 April 1995
  55.  Singapore – 8 May 1995
  56.  Kazakhstan – 1 June 1995
  57.  Mongolia – 27 June 1995
  58.  Azerbaijan – 28 June 1995
  59.  Lithuania – 17 July 1995
  60.  United States – 13 September 1995
  61.  Greece – 13 October 1995
  62.  Australia – 20 October 1995
  63.  Israel – 7 December 1995
  64.  Oman – 28 December 1995
  65.  Tajikistan – 4 January 1996
  66.  Belize – 25 January 1996
  67.  Ghana – 7 February 1996
  68.  Latvia – 13 February 1996
  69.  Bangladesh – 14 February 1996
  70.  Laos – 6 March 1996
  71.  Nicaragua – 28 March 1996
  72.  Serbia – 8 April 1996
  73.  Rwanda – 18 April 1996
  74.  Honduras – 25 April 1996
  75.  Sudan – 26 April 1996
  76.  United Arab Emirates – 27 May 1996
  77.  Turkmenistan – 21 June 1996
  78.  Qatar – 26 June 1996
  79.  Canada – 4 July 1996
  80.  Afghanistan – 17 July 1996
  81.  Bahrain – 11 September 1996
  82.  Costa Rica – 15 October 1996
  83.  Dominica – 18 October 1996
  84.  El Salvador – 28 October 1996
  85.  Cambodia – 29 October 1996
  86.  Tanzania – 22 January 1997
  87.  Mozambique – 28 February 1997
  88.  Djibouti – 12 June 1997
  89.  Kuwait – 16 June 1997
  90.  Guinea – 28 November 1997
  91.    Nepal – 7 January 1998
  92.  Zambia – 30 March 1998
  93.  Sri Lanka – 10 April 1998
  94.  Togo – 14 April 1998
  95.  Sierra Leone – 17 July 1988
  96.  Lesotho – 3 September 1998
  97.  Gambia – 29 September 1998
  98.  Yemen – 6 October 1998
  99.  Brazil – 14 October 1998
  100.  Argentina – 24 September 1999
  101.  Democratic Republic of the Congo – 27 September 1999
  102.  Malawi – 27 September 1999
  103.  Chad – 13 October 1999
  104.  Burundi – 7 February 2000
  105.  Cuba – 5 May 2000
  106.  Colombia – 22 June 2000
  107.  Ecuador – 22 June 2000
  108.  Comoros – 29 June 2000
  109.  Guinea-Bissau – 29 October 2000
  110.  Sao Tome and Principe – 11 July 2000
  111.  Ethiopia – 17 July 2000
  112.  Uganda – 26 July 2000
  113.  Saint Lucia – 24 August 2000
  114.  Eritrea – 13 September 2000
  115.  Ivory Coast – 14 September 2000
  116.  Jordan – 15 September 2000
  117.  Dominican Republic – 18 September 2000
  118.  Maldives – 13 November 2000
  119.  Gabon – 13 November 2000
  120.  Niger – 15 November 2000
  121.  Seychelles – 7 February 2001
  122.  Mauritius – 7 February 2001
  123.  Republic of the Congo – 7 February 2001
  124.  Cameroon – 6 April 2001
  125.  Haiti – 11 April 2001
  126.  Mexico – 4 October 2001
  127.  Guatemala – 16 November 2001
  128.  Vanuatu – 16 November 2001
  129.  Algeria – 21 March 2002
  130.  Panama – 18 April 2002
  131.  Venezuela – 18 April 2002
  132.  Uruguay – 17 May 2002
  133.  Equatorial Guinea – 9 July 2002
  134.  Morocco – 18 September 2002
  135.  Madagascar – 18 October 2002
  136.  Senegal – 20 October 2002
  137.  Central African Republic – 20 October 2002
  138.  Marshall Islands – 19 March 2003
  139.  Timor-Leste – 25 March 2003
  140.  Jamaica – 1 April 2003
  141.  Nigeria – 24 April 2003
  142.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 15 May 2003
  143.  Myanmar – 9 July 2003
  144.  Guyana – 22 September 2003
  145.  Benin – 26 November 2004
  146.  Burkina Faso – 27 November 2004
  147.  Federated States of Micronesia – 30 November 2004
  148.  Nauru – 2 December 2004
  149.  Cabo Verde – 10 December 2004
  150.  Thailand – 23 January 2005
  151.  Somalia – 17 February 2005
  152.  Mauritania – 23 March 2005
  153.  Iraq – 10 June 2005
  154.  Peru – 29 June 2005
  155.  Samoa – 18 August 2005
  156.  Kenya – 1 February 2006
  157.  Montenegro – 14 June 2006[8]
  158.  Suriname – 12 April 2007
  159.  Eswatini – 6 July 2007
  160.  Brunei – 1 August 2007
  161.  Paraguay – 26 October 2007
  162.  Chile – 15 September 2008
  163.  Andorra – 31 July 2009
  164.  Botswana – 4 September 2010
  165.  Fiji – 17 October 2010
  166.  Kosovo – 15 March 2010
  167.  Syria – 23 September 2010
  168.  Zimbabwe – 13 January 2011
  169.  Tuvalu – 29 June 2011[9]
  170.  Namibia – 21 December 2011[9]
  171.  Malta – 25 January 2017[10]
  172.  Georgia – 15 March 2019[9]
  173.  South Korea – 18 July 2019[9]
  174.  Cyprus – 30 August 2019[9]
  175.  Saint Kitts and Nevis – 12 September 2019[11]
  176.  Monaco – 26 September 2019[9]
  177.  San Marino – 26 September 2019[12]
  178.  Armenia – 27 September 2019[9]
  179.  Tunisia – 27 September 2019[9]

Bilateral relations


Africa

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Egypt
 South AfricaNo diplomatic relations[14]

South Africa is represented in North Macedonia by its embassy in Athens, Greece.[14]

Americas

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina
  • Argentina is accredited to North Macedonia from its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.[15]
  • North Macedonia is accredited to Argentina from its embassy in Madrid, Spain.[16]
 Brazil1998
 Canada4 July 1996
  • Canada is accredited to North Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. [19]
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Ottawa.[20]
  • Canada has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 Mexico4 October 2001
  • Mexico is accredited to North Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. [21]
  • North Macedonia is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.[22]
  • Mexico has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 United StatesSee North Macedonia–United States relations
Then US President George W. Bush with the political leaders of North Macedonia in 2008

The United States and North Macedonia enjoy excellent bilateral relations.[23] The United States formally recognized North Macedonia on February 8, 1994, and the two countries established full diplomatic relations on September 13, 1995. The U.S. Liaison Office was upgraded to an embassy in February 1996, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Skopje arrived in July 1996. The development of political relations between the United States and North Macedonia has ushered in a whole host of other contacts between the two states. In 2004, the United States recognized the country under its constitutional name of that time – Republic of Macedonia.

Asia

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 AzerbaijanSee Azerbaijan–North Macedonia relations
 China12 October 1993

On October 12, 1993, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations with North Macedonia expressly declaring that the Government of the PRC is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The Government of North Macedonia affirmed it would not establish any form of official relations with Taiwan.[24]

  • China has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Beijing.
 Georgia 16 February 2019See Georgia–North Macedonia relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 16, 2019.[25]

 India1996See India–North Macedonia relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1996.[26]

 Indonesia

Indonesia is represented in North Macedonia by its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.[27]

  • Indonesia has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 Israel7 December 1995See Israel–North Macedonia relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 7, 1995.

  • Israel has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Tel Aviv.
 JapanMarch 1994

Both countries established diplomatic relations in March 1994. North Macedonia opened its first resident embassy in Tokyo in 2013 and the first resident ambassador of North Macedonia to Japan is H.E. Dr. Andrijana Cvetkovik [28]

  • Japan has an embassy in Skopje.
 Kazakhstan

The two countries hold regular political consultations on subjects of political, economic, cultural, humanitarian issues.[29]

 North Korea11 October 1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 11, 1993. They enjoy friendly relations. DPRK is represented in North Macedonia through its embassy in Sofia.

 South Korea18 July 2019
 Qatar
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Doha.[30]
  • Qatar has an embassy in Skopje.
 Taiwan27 January 1999

Notwithstanding the above, North Macedonia and the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) established diplomatic relations on January 27, 1999.[31] This development increased the number of the ROC's diplomatic allies in Europe from one to two (the other being the Holy See). The PRC was opposed to this and in retaliation vetoed the UN resolution renewing the mandate of the UNPREDEP (a peacekeeping force) in North Macedonia. On April 28, 1999, North Macedonia opened an embassy in Taipei, ROC.[32] The Republic of North Macedonia and the PRC normalized their relations on June 18, 2001.[33] On the same day, the ROC severed diplomatic relations with North Macedonia.[32] In the joint communiqué between North Macedonia and People's Republic of China, North Macedonia recognized "emphatically that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory".[33]

 TurkeySee North Macedonia–Turkey relations

Due to historical and cultural mutualities and human bonds North Macedonia and Turkey have very close and friendly relations.[34] Shortly after North Macedonia declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Turkey was among the first countries to recognise North Macedonia's sovereignty.[35] Bilateral relations were established on August 26, 1992.[36] North Macedonia has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate–general in Istanbul, while Turkey has an embassy in Skopje and a consulate-general in Bitola.

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
 United Arab Emirates
 Vietnam10 June 1994
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 10, 1994.[37]
  • North Macedonia is represented in Vietnam through its embassy in Beijing, China.[38]
  • Vietnam is represented in North Macedonia through its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.[38]

Europe

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 AlbaniaSee Albania–North Macedonia relations

Recently (Aug. 2008) they signed a treaty enabling visa-free movement between the countries. Both countries support each other's ethnic minorities in cultural, political and educational aspects. During the ethnic conflict in 2001, the Albanian government did not interfere and supported peaceful resolution. Albania had recognized Skopje under the UN provisional reference of the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia",[39][40] abbreviated as FYROM.[41][42] Both countries are full members of the NATO and Council of Europe. On 26 November 2019, an earthquake struck Albania. North Macedonia sent €100,000 in financial aid,[43] drones with thermal cameras, rescue teams and mechanical equipment for relief operations.[44][45] Both countries EU Accession negotiations in 24 March 2020.

  • Albania has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Tirana.
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaSee Bosnia and Herzegovina–North Macedonia relations
  • Bosnia has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Sarajevo.
 BulgariaSee Bulgaria–North Macedonia relations

Bulgaria–North Macedonia relations refer to the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Rules for governing good neighbourly relations were agreed between Bulgaria and North Macedonia in the Joint Declaration of February 22, 1999 and reaffirmed by a joint memorandum signed on January 22, 2008 in Sofia.[46] The governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia signed a friendship treaty to bolster the relations between the two Balkan states in August 2017.[47] The treaty was ratified by the parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia on the 15th of and of Bulgaria on 18 January 2018.[48]

  • Bulgaria is the first country in the world to recognise Macedonia as an independent state.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Sofia.
 Croatia
  • Croatia has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Zagreb.
 Cyprus29 August 2019See Cyprus–North Macedonia relations Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 29, 2019.[49][50][51]
 DenmarkSee Denmark–North Macedonia relations
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Copenhagen.
  • Denmark has an honorary consulate-general in Skopje.
 Estonia2 March 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 2, 1995.[52]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Tallinn.
  • Estonia has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 France
  • France has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Paris.
 Germany
  • Germany has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Berlin.
 GreeceSee Greece–North Macedonia relations

North Macedonia and Greece have excellent economic and business relations, with Greece being the largest investor in the country. Until the Prespa Agreement (2019), the indeterminate status of North Macedonia's former name arose from a long-running dispute with Greece. The main points of the dispute were:[53]

  • The name: see Macedonia naming dispute, and the section Naming issue (resolved, below in this article).
  • The flag: the use of Vergina Sun, a Greek state symbol, on the initial national flag used between 1992 and 1995 (resolved, see below)
  • Constitutional issues: certain articles of the constitution that were seen as claims on Greek territory (resolved, see below).

The naming issue was "parked" in a compromise agreed at the United Nations in 1993. However, Greece refused to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic and imposed an economic blockade that lasted until the flag and constitutional issues were resolved in 1995. The naming issue was resolved with the Prespa Agreement, signed in 2018, and entered into force in February 2019.

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • Greece has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Athens.
 Iceland
 KosovoSee Kosovo–North Macedonia relations

North Macedonia and Kosovo have very friendly and cordial neighbourly relations[citation needed] which mainly are due to the ethnic Albanian populations that live inside North Macedonia. In October 2008, North Macedonia recognized Kosovo as an independent state with plan to establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo recognized the neighbouring country under its former constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia.[57] Also in October 2008, a bilateral agreement was signed between the two countries after the border between the two was physically marked by a joint committee.[58] Kosovo and North Macedonia have signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2005 to facilitate trade opportunities, investment conditions and improve good-neighbourly relations. North Macedonia's investments are the largest in Kosovo since its independence on February 17, 2008 year.[59]

  • Kosovo has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Pristina.
 Lithuania18 July 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on July 18, 1995.[60]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • Lithuania has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 Montenegro14 June 2006See North Macedonia–Montenegro relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 14, 2006.[61]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Podgorica.
  • Montenegro has an embassy in Skopje.
 Norway1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1993.[62]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Oslo.
  • Norway has an embassy in Skopje.
 Poland
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland has an embassy in Skopje.
 Romania11 January 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 11, 1995.[63]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Bucharest.
  • Romania has an embassy in Skopje.
 RussiaSee North Macedonia–Russia relations
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Skopje.
 SerbiaSee North Macedonia–Serbia relations

North Macedonia and Serbia traditionally have friendly relations. Serbia is a main trading partner and recognized its neighbour under its former constitutional name – Republic of Macedonia. Macedonians in Serbia are a recognized national minority, same as Serbs in North Macedonia. However, the non-recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church by the Serbian Orthodox Church and North Macedonia's recognition of Kosovo as an independent state are disturbing the relations of these two countries.

  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Skopje.
 Slovenia12 February 1992See North Macedonia–Slovenia relations

North Macedonia and Slovenia have very close political and economic relations. Once part of SFR Yugoslavia, the two republics declared independence in 1991 (Slovenia in June, North Macedonia in September) and recognised each other's independence on February 12, 1992.[64] Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on March 17, 1992.[65] Slovenia supports North Macedonia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, its Euro-integration and visa liberalisation.[64][66] A significant number of Slovenian investments ended up in North Macedonia. In 2007, about 70 million euros were invested.[67] In January 2009, the Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski announced, that he expects more Slovenian investments in infrastructure and energy projects.[67] Over 70 Slovenian companies are present on the Macedonian market.[64]

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • Slovenia has an embassy in Skopje.
 SpainSee North Macedonia–Spain relations
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Madrid.
  • Spain has an embassy in Skopje.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  Switzerland31 January 1994

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 31, 1994.[68]

  • Switzerland has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Bern.
 UkraineSee North Macedonia–Ukraine relations
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Kyiv.
  • Ukraine has an embassy in Skopje.
 United KingdomSee North Macedonia–United Kingdom relations
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Skopje.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.

Oceania

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia15 February 1994
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 February 1994.[69]
  • Australia is accredited to North Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.[70]
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Canberra.[71]
  • Australia has an honorary consulate in Skopje.
 Federated States of Micronesia2004

Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 30, 2004.[72]

 New Zealand
  • North Macedonia is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.[73]
  • New Zealand is accredited to North Macedonia from its embassy in Rome, Italy.[74]
 Samoa

Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 18, 2005.[75]

Issues


Flag issue

The former flag of the former Republic of Macedonia (used from 1992 to 1995), bearing the Vergina Sun

North Macedonia's first post-independence flag caused a major controversy when it was unveiled. The use of the Vergina Sun on the flag was seen by Greece as territorial claim to the northern Greek region of Macedonia, where the golden larnax containing the symbol was unearthed in 1977 during excavations in Vergina by Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. The Greek viewpoint was summed up in an FAQ circulated on the Internet in the late 1990s:

The Vergina Sun, the emblem of Philip's dynasty, symbolizes the birth of our nation. It was the first time (4th century BC) that the Greek mainland (city-states and kingdoms) with the same language, culture, and religion were united against the enemies of Asia in one league. At the same time the fractured Greek world grew conscious of its unity. And, in this sense, we have never been apart since then. The "Sun" was excavated in Greece in 1978, and it is sacred to us.[76]

The Vergina Sun, claimed by Greece as an exclusive state symbol, was removed from the flag under an agreement reached between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece in September 1995. The Republic agreed to meet a number of Greek demands for changes to its national symbols and constitution, while Greece agreed to establish diplomatic relations with the Republic and end its economic blockade.[77]

Constitutional issue

North Macedonia's first post-independence constitution, adopted on November 17, 1991 included a number of clauses that Greece interpreted as promoting secessionist sentiment among the Slavophone population of northern Greece, and making irredentist claims on Greek territory. Article 49 of the constitution caused particular concern. It read:

(1) The Republic cares for the status and rights of those persons belonging to the Macedonian people in neighboring countries, as well as Macedonian expatriates, assists their cultural development and promotes links with them. In the exercise of this concern the Republic will not interfere in the sovereign rights of other states or in their internal affairs.
(2) The Republic cares for the cultural, economic and social rights of the citizens of the Republic abroad.[78]

The Greek government interpreted this as a licence for North Macedonia to interfere in Greek internal affairs. Given long-standing Greek sensitivities over the position of the country's minority groups, the government saw this as being the most serious of the three main issues affecting relations between the two countries; the issue of the republic's symbols, by contrast, was seen as being of much less substantive importance, even though it aroused the loudest political controversy. The Greek prime minister at the time, Constantine Mitsotakis, later commented that

What concerned me from the very first moment was not the name of the state. The problem for me was that [we should not allow] the creation of a second minority problem in the area of western [Greek] Macedonia [the first minority being the Turkish-speaking Greeks of western Thrace]. My main aim was to convince the Republic to declare that there is no Slavomacedonian minority in Greece. This was the real key of our difference with Skopje.[79]

The offending articles were removed under the 1995 agreement between the two sides.

See also


References


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