Macedonia’s president announced Tuesday that he would not sign onto a landmark deal with Greece to change his country’s name.
According to a statement from the Macedonian Presidency, President Gjorge Ivanov will not sign a law approving the deal to change his country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.
But Macedonia's parliament can override the president's refusal by passing the deal a second time with a simple majority.
On June 17 Greece and its northern neighbor signed a historic accord on renaming Macedonia, ending a long-standing dispute between the two countries.
It stressed that Ivanov based his decision on Macedonia’s Constitution and laws and the country’s best interests.
Greece, both a NATO and EU member, has long opposed Macedonia’s official name, as it has a region by the same name in the north of its country.
Due to Athens’ veto, the dispute has been one of the main obstacles to Macedonia’s ambitions to join NATO and the EU.
Negotiations between Macedonia and Greece had recently stepped up, as the new government in Skopje sought progress in its bid to join NATO and the EU.
Despite the dispute between Athens and Skopje, many countries, including Turkey, recognize the country as Macedonia.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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