Skopje, 7 December 2018 (MIA) – Who will suffer the most from not resolving the dispute with Greece? Not the U.S., Russia, Europe, Germany, or Greece; it’s us who’ll suffer the most, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said during the third in the series of public debates on the four draft amendments to the Constitution under the Prespa Agreement held at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) on Friday.
Dimitrov noted we are not members of NATO; our country is often labeled FYROM, and the Macedonian language is not listed anywhere. We have the greatest interest in resolving this issue, he told members of the Academy.
By resolving it, “we want to close the chapter on identity issues, NATO and the EU,” he said.
“These are the three goals we want to achieve,” Dimitrov added.
He also listed several suggestions that could be part of the constitutional changes and asked participants to offer their opinions during the debate.
MANU president Taki Fiti said the agreement strengthens our identity and resolves a historical issue. He called attention to the advantages of the deal, such as our Euro-Atlantic integration as well as the economic benefits it would bring.
Still, Fiti reiterated there was disagreement between MANU members regarding some institution names, which had been a topic of a recent scholarly discussion at the Academy.
This lack of unanimity, however, did not diminish the legitimacy of alternative name proposals, he added.
Vice Premier for European Integration Bujar Osmani said the Prespa Agreement was a historic agreement reached in a historic year for the country.
“It will lift the heavy burden dragging us down for years,” he said, noting the advantages of NATO and EU membership.
Osmani was also quick to point out the risks of not joining. “Young people will not stay if they cannot see their future here,” he said. mr/14:14
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