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Macedonian and Greek PMs nominated for 2019 Nobel Peace Prize

Staff Writer |
Macedonian Prime Minister (PM) Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras are officially nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for signing the Prespa Agreement, the Macedonian government reported on Monday in a press release.

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The nomination is made by the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui, who, in a letter to Prime Minister Zaev, informed him of his official nomination along with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, according to the press release.

The Macedonian and Greek prime ministers are nominated for providing "a model for peaceful and constructive solutions to bilateral and multilateral disagreements between neighboring countries that can serve as an example to the Balkans and the wider region."

"The ratification of the Prespa Agreement by both countries, is a proof that the dialogue, positive energy, cosmopolitism, determination, and good neighborly relations, are essential to solving any problems regardless of the pressures imposed by nationalists from both sides," the press release said, quoting Bouchamaoui.

Under the UN-brokered Prespa Agreement reached in June 2018, Macedonia's constitutional name would become "the Republic of North Macedonia."

The agreement was passed by Greek lawmakers on Jan. 25.

On Jan. 11, Macedonian Parliament members voted in favor to endorse the constitutional change, paving the way to changing the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Greece and Macedonia have been in dispute since 1991, when the former Yugoslav republic gained independence. Greece has objected to its neighbor's constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia, fearing that the name indicates territorial ambitions over the northern Greek province of Macedonia. Greece's objection has impeded Skopje's bids to join NATO and the European Union.

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