'We have a deal,' say Greece and Macedonia over name dispute

Greece argued that by calling itself Republic of Macedonia the neighboring country was stating a territorial claim of the Greek northern province, also called Macedonia.

In the 1995 interim bilateral accord, Greece agreed that the term "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) would be applied to Macedonia until the dispute is settled.

European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have welcomed a deal between Greece and Macedonia resolving a decades-long dispute over the Balkan country's name.

He added that Macedonia would take a new "compound name with a geographical denominator", without spelling out the name.

"There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference.

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There were no immediate details on the age, appearance or nationality of the hostage taker. The area around the incident in the 10th arrondissement of Paris was ringed off by police.

Zaev said that the deal will be put to a referendum in Macedonia in the autumn.

In Skopje, meanwhile, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said earlier in the day that he remained opposed to a constitutional change that would likely be included in the draft deal, to provide an assurance that the name change was permanent and binding for domestic and worldwide use.

Greece will then back invitations for Macedonia to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and start negotiations on joining the European Union.

Many Greeks felt their northern neighbor was trying to hijack Greece's ancient cultural heritage.

"Maybe what has the most historic gravity and value for Greece (is that) according to this accord. our northern neighbors don't have, and can not assert, any link to the ancient Greek culture of Macedonia", Tsipras said in a televised address on Tuesday evening. He added that Macedonia "cannot and will not be able in the future to claim any connection with the ancient Greek civilization of Macedonia".

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

The MPs are backed by the popular opinion as hundreds of thousands of Greeks marched in February in protest against the use of the world "Macedonia" by the neighboring country. "We want to be part of a solution", said an official at the opposition Socialist Party.

The leader of the junior partner in Greece's coalition government says he will vote against a proposed compromise in a name dispute with neighbor Macedonia, leaving left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek support from political opponents.

"I am encouraged by the dedication of both governments to deliver mutual benefits for all their citizens through the establishment of a strategic partnership as a basis for intensified cooperation across all sectors", he said in a statement.

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