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Mitsotakis Meets with North Macedonia President Pendarovski

ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday met with the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, at the Maximos Mansion.

Pendarovski is paying an official visit to Greece at the invitation of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

According to sources, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Stevo Pendarovksi reaffirmed the important momentum formed in the bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest. They agreed on the need to deepen and expand bilateral cooperation, with an emphasis on the economy, investment, energy and connectivity sectors.

The prime minister reaffirmed Greece's support for the European accession process of the Western Balkans and North Macedonia in particular, in accordance with the criteria set.

In this context, he stressed that the strengthening of relations between the two countries and Athens' support for the European accession process depend significantly on the consistent and good faith implementation of the Prespes Agreement, which is an integral part of the enlargement process.

On his part Pendarovksi said: "We expect that tomorrow, in Slovenia, together with many of our other European friends, you will support the request of all the countries of the Western Balkans, but mainly of the country from which I come and of which I am President, of North Macedonia. Accession negotiations with the European Union must finally begin, something we have been waiting for a long time, as we meet all the conditions. "

The former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia declared independence in 1991 but only normalized relations with Greece in 2018 after agreeing to change its name to North Macedonia to address Athens’ concerns for its own northern region of Macedonia.

North Macedonia and five other western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo – are all seeking EU membership, but existing members are divided on the timetable of the 27-nation bloc’s expansion.

The leaders of the six Balkans countries are set to join an EU summit meeting in Slovenia on Wednesday.

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