Tsipras: 'Republic of North Macedonia' for universal use

"We have a combined name with a geographic qualifier for all uses", Tsipras said as quoted by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) news agency.

He said that the accord would allow a clear distinction between Greece's Macedonia province and the country.

A decades-long dispute over the name of the tiny nation of Macedonia at last reached a peaceful conclusion Tuesday, with the Balkan nation agreeing with Greece to change its name to "North Macedonia".

Previous comments from the Macedonian side have indicated that solutions could involve adding a modifier to the country's official name, such as "Upper" or "Northern" to satisfy Athens, although nationalists in Macedonian have opposed such concessions.

The announcement came after telephone talks with Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday.

But Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' junior coalition partner, said he would reject the name agreement in a parliamentary vote.

Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and heritage of the region, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Speaking at a news conference in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Zaev described the deal as a "historic agreement of the century".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of his government at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece, September 23, 2015.

Greece and Macedonia are involved in a longtime dispute over the name of the Republic of Macedonia.

The long-running dispute has centred on Greece's objection to Macedonia's name, which has prompted it to block its neighbour from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union until it is changed.

But Macedonia feared that a name change could have a negative impact on the national identity of its people, the majority of whom simply call themselves "Macedonians".

On the timeline of the deal, Tsipras said that it would be first signed by the two countries' foreign ministers and then ratified by Macedonia's parliament.

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