The prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia have broken the ice and engaged in selfie diplomacy during the first ever official visit by a Greek leader to the neighbouring country following decades of strained relations over a name dispute.
North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev held up a cellphone while standing beside Greek counterpart Alexis Tspiras, snapping the historic selfies outside the main government building in the capital, Skopje.
The former Yugoslav republic officially changed its name earlier this year from Macedonia to North Macedonia, settling a dispute over its name with Greece that lasted nearly three decades.
An elegant solution to a problem which caused huge tensions.
Leaders and ministers from the two countries signed multiple friendship agreements to establish embassies in both capitals, ease trade barriers and for the Greek military to police North Macedonia’s airspace.
Tsipras travelled to Skopje with 10 Greek Cabinet ministers and more than 100 business representatives.
Speaking at a forum on economic cooperation between the two countries, Zaev said Greece was North Macedonia’s second-biggest trade partner in 2018 behind Germany.
Trade is better than conflict.
North Macedonia is due to become the next member of NATO after Greece dropped its objections.
Excellent. NATO started with just 12 countries in 1949. Before the cold war ended it stood at 16 with Turkey, Greece, Germany and Spain joining.
Since the USSR dissolved 13 more countries have joined and North Macedonia will be the 30th country to join.