FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said that he opposes a revision of the country’s Constitution to remove remaining irredentist elements, as Greece has requested.
“Macedonia changed its constitution in 1993. We have made a major step towards eradicating irredentism. Whatever we are doing now is to prove that Macedonia has no ambitions, territorial or otherwise, that Macedonia does not have irredentist aspirations. Macedonia wants to build friendly relations,” Zaev said.
On Tuesday, Zaev said that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is ready to add a geographical qualifier to its name to help resolve a dispute with Greece that has held up its prospects of joining the European Union and NATO.
Macedonia joined the United Nations in 1993 with the provisional name «The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia».
«I would like the negotiations (with Greece) to succeed … We are ready for a geographical qualifier in the name,» he told reporters.
He had pledged a speedy solution to the dispute last month during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Most countries refer to the country that declared independence in 1991 from the former Yugoslavia as Macedonia.
Diplomats say Northern Macedonia, New Macedonia or Upper Macedonia could be now acceptable to both sides.
Zaev also said his government has renamed the main airport and a key highway, which had both been named after Alexander the Great. That riled Athens as Macedonia was also the name of the ancient Greek kingdom ruled by Alexander, and most of the geopgraphic area of Macedonia, and most all of the ancient kingdom lies within Greek territory.
Zaev said the airport will be renamed «International Airport Skopje» and the highway will be called Friendship.
With today"s decision … we are confirming our step towards building friendship and confidence with Greece,» he said.