The dispute between North Macedonia and Greece was unresolved for three decades. We spend three decades unsure of our future, worrying about the negative consequences. The key strategic interests of the country, the region and Euro-Atlantic structures were blocked. But, the idea of the future guided us throughout the process. Both sides made compromises in the name of friendship and the interest of political partners, as well as their own, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said in Münster on Saturday as he received the 2020 International Peace of Westphalia Prize together with former Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.
Friendship, he underlined, was crucial for us to start discussing issues, even when finding a solution seemed impossible.
“Throughout the process, we refused to discuss red lines. Red lines are limiting, they put you in a box. We refused to put the process in a box. That’s how friendship works. It’s focused on solutions and building bridges. Friendship is the essence of the Prespa Agreement, which ended the dispute and long-standing differences that built walls and made neighborly relations between North Macedonia and Greece difficult,” Zaev stressed.
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