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Macedonian Parliament agrees to rename country

ANI  |  Skopje [Macedonia] 

The unanimously agreed to change the name of the country to the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a long-drawn dispute between and over this issue.

Macedonian Zoran Zaev, while addressing the Parliament before the historic vote on Friday, said "We should raise our heads high, move past all the issues that divided our society," as quoted by

For decades, has been trying to gain membership of the (NATO) and the (EU). However, raised objections against the official usage of Macedonia's name, arguing that it implies territorial aspirations against a northern Greek region with the same name.

At the same time, also claimed that using Macedonia's name officially was an attempt to annex the ancient civilisation of Macedonia, which was a Greek kingdom ruled by of Macedon and

The agreement signed last year on June 12 by the Macedonian lawmakers to change the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of would wipe out the last remnant of Yugoslavia's name from the map.

Meanwhile, of NATO, said the constitutional changes in the official name of the country marks a 'historic' victory for Macedonians.

"NATO strongly supports the full implementation of the agreement, which is an important contribution to a stable and prosperous region," Stoltenberg added.

Acknowledging the end of the dispute between Greece and Macedonia, of the Federica Mogherini, was quoted as saying in a statement, "Political leaders and citizens alike have shown their determination to seize this unique and historic opportunity in solving one of the oldest disputes in the region."

"The E.U. strongly supports this agreement which sets an example of reconciliation for the region and as a whole," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 15:30 IST