Greece can be North Macedonia‘s greatest ally and friend, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Thursday after a meeting with his counterpart, Bujar Osmani, in Athens.
Dendias noted that North Macedonia’s stability and prosperity was also in Greece’s own interests, while Greece has welcomed North Macedonia as an ally in NATO and patrols its skies.
He also thanked the neighboring country for aligning itself with the common EU position on Turkey, saying that this was noted and appreciated by Greece.
“We cannot allow a stability vacuum to be created in the (Western Balkans) region,” Dendias added. “Such a vacuum can easily be filled by other, non-European forces that favor revisionism.”
The Foreign Minister said that Greece is ready to provide technical assistance and to support the efforts of the Western Balkans for accession into the EU.
He noted however, that “we must have fully consistent and good faith implementation of the Prespes Agreement in order to have progress.”
“Two years after the Prespes Agreement came into force, we acknowledge that there has been a very great effort for its implementation. But, of course, greater progress is required,” he said.
This included effort to consistently implement the use of the agreed name and terms by all public and private entities, including websites, and eradicate the problems of ancient symbols and the Vergina Sun from public spaces and for public uses, he noted.
North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister thanked Greece for its support of his country’s EU accession prospects and the start of accession negotiations, saying it was the basis of a long friendship between the two countries.
He added that Greece and North Macedonia are “strategic partners and with the commitment to implement the Prespes Agreement, we will continue to develop and strengthen this strategic partnership relationship.”
He said the intention of the two countries was to progress further than good neighbourly relations in order to build a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support.”