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Voutsis-Dimitrov: Prespa Agreement opens path of friendship and cooperation

The Prespa Agreement opens the path to friendship, alliance and cooperation in all areas, a road that both countries have taken, agreed Greek Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov at a meeting here on Friday, MIA reports from Athens.

Athens, 15 March 2019 (MIA) – The Prespa Agreement opens the path to friendship, alliance and cooperation in all areas, a road that both countries have taken, agreed Greek Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov at a meeting here on Friday, MIA reports from Athens.

Speaker Voutsis and FM Dimitrov referred to the importance of the Prespa Agreement, both for the countries and their nations.

Voutsis said the agreement is a historic achievement not only because it gives a chance to turn a page but is also an international example of solving problems, while Dimitrov added that both countries are on the right side of history.

“The deal has all dispositions to open the path that we are already taking – friendship, cooperation, alliance and partnership – between the people of Greece and North Macedonia,” said Voutsis.

He added that the parliament was the place where the discussions related to the ratification of the Prespa Agreement and the NATO Accession Protocol took place, a place that saw protests, but also a place where inter-parliamentary committees would be established.

FM Dimitrov said the Prespa Agreement has opened an enormous potential in bilateral relations, highlighting the importance of convincing every citizen in Greece and North Macedonia that “this was the right thing to do and that we are natural allies”.

“We will need time, wisdom and leadership, but I believe that, when looking back on the Prespa Agreement, we will all be proud, even the ones opposing the deal. We will provide assurances to political parties and the public in the two countries, I have no doubts about this,” said Dimitrov.

He explained that changes are difficult by definition, just as the struggle with taboos, stereotypes and prejudices.

“I truly feel that we are on the right side of history. We have created a part of Europe, in a time when Europe is fighting for friendship, hope, optimism, against stereotypes and old trends,” said Dimitrov and added everyone in the region is proud of its history, but “future is the thing we miss”.

Interlocutors also discussed the coming visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Skopje, deeming it a historic step.

“I am certain that the visit of the PM and a big delegation will accelerate all aspects of cooperation – economy, trade, tourism and networking,” said Voutsis.

Prior to the meeting, Dimitrov and Voutsis extended condolences over the terrorist attack in New Zealand.

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