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Greek FM resigns over dispute on Macedonia name deal

Staff Writer |
The Greek foreign minister on Wednesday resigned after a disagreement over the Macedonia name change deal, the prime ministry said.rnAccording to a statement, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of Nikos Kotzias stating that the prime ministry would take over on the Macedonia name deal to ensure its completion.

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Speaking to reporters, Tsipras said he would handle affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

Tsipras said that the move aims to prevent giving different messages about the name deal. "Greece and my government will fulfill the

equirements of international obligations," he said. The resignation came after Kotzias had an argument with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos - who long objected to the name deal - during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, local media reports said.

The name issue has kept Macedonia from joining the EU and NATO since its

ndependence in 1991. Macedonia's international recognition was finalized in April 1993, when the country was unanimously adopted as a member of the UN General Assembly, but was admitted as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) due to pressure by Greece. Despite the dispute between Athens and Skopje, many countries, including Turkey, recognize the country as Macedonia. In June, the Macedonian and Greek governments signed the Prespa Agreement which requires Macedonia to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia and Greece to drop its objection to Macedonia joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and becoming a member of the European Union.

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