The U.S. State Department thanked departing Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias for the Prespa agreement and for his role in improving Greece-U.S. relations.
These comments came on Wednesday following Kotzias’ unexpected resignation, and were related to Greece’s state-run ANA-MPA news agency by a State Department official.
Kotzias unexpectedly submitted his resignation on Wednesday afternoon following a turbulent cabinet meeting on Tuesday during which he had a vocal disagreement with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the Prespa agreement. Kammenos, the leader of junior partner in Greece’s coalition government, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), has opposed the deal from the start.
Kotzias was praised by the State Department for his “dedicated service,” the achievement of the achievement of the “historic” Prespa agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and his efforts to enhance Greek relations with the United States.
“The U.S. strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation, which will allow FYROM to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU as the Republic of North Macedonia,” a State Department official told ANA-MPA.
“As FYROM’s parliament continues deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country,” the official added.
Following Kotzias’ resignation, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took over the foreign ministry portfolio, stating his goal of ensursing the successful completion of the Prespa agreement.