• Monday, 15 July 2024

Osmani: Prespa Agreement is more than name accord, it is a strategic cooperation treaty

Osmani: Prespa Agreement is more than name accord, it is a strategic cooperation treaty

Skopje, 12 June 2024 (MIA) - Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said Wednesday the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit of heads of state and government, which is set to take place in Skopje on June 13-14, will be attended by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandra Papadopoulou, and their meeting will focus on "all issues of bilateral interest".

FM Osmani told a press conference ahead of the summit that the Prespa Agreement is clear when it comes to the use of the country's name.

"The Prespa Agreement is clear regarding the 'erga omnes' use of the country's name. The country's constitutional name is Republic of North Macedonia and the use of any other name violates the Constitution," said Osmani.

He told the incoming government that "you may be against it but this is the reality, it is part of our constitutional order and it must be respected".

According to him, there is no room for different interpretations of the Prespa Agreement.

"As per the treaty, the adjective Macedonian can be used only in an ethnic context, not a state one. Anything that is Macedonian relates to the Macedonian ethnic community and therefore I believe these provisions should be respected. The same goes for the country's name and maybe it would be fair to say 'we might have differences but this is the reality,'" said Osmani.

He noted that if the Government has a way to change the reality, it can do so through a democratic process, but otherwise the Constitution must be respected.

"You might hold the position that you will work on changing the name and the Prespa Agreement in the future, but until this happens, they must be respected," said Osmani.

The Prespa Agreement, he added, is more than a name accord, it is a strategic cooperation agreement.

On Sofia's positions, he said they are irrelevant.

"The rules of the game in the negotiating framework are clear and these positions can be used for domestic purposes. They have neither worsened nor improved but are somewhat irrelevant to the negotiating process, since the rules of the game are clear and this makes the process predictable for us, which is very important for a country aspiring to join the EU," said Osmani.

The SEECP Summit will include delegations from 13 member-states, representatives of the European Union and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

Photo: MIA