Gerapetritis: Full compliance with the Prespa Agreement is required, for travel documents they had 5 years to adjust

Giorgos Gerapetritis / Photo EPA-EFE/KHALED ELFIQI

Our relations with North Macedonia are at an extremely satisfactory level, bilateral relations have developed in the last five years, much more compared to the previous 15 years and are in continuous dynamics, but we must be clear that adherence to the Prespa Agreement will have to to be strict and complete so that we can discuss on the same level, stressed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Giorgos Gerapetritis from the Greek Parliament.

Gerapetritis was answering a parliamentary question of SYRIZA MP Rena Duru regarding the three memorandums of cooperation with North Macedonia that have not yet been submitted to the Parliament for ratification since 2019.

"The foreseen memoranda will come for ratification in the Parliament at a time that the Greek state will evaluate as appropriate and always related to the proper and good faith implementation of the provisions of the Prespa Agreement," Gerapetritis said.

He reiterated once again that the Prespa Agreement is an international agreement that cannot be changed by any of the parties, he indicated that the Greek Government is closely monitoring its implementation, and at the same time he referred in detail to the change of passports, which he indicated "does not yet exist full compliance”.

He explained that "the adjustment of the road documents is related to the five-year technical transition period that the neighboring country had."

"He had the opportunity in the period of five years to make the necessary adjustments, both in relation to road documents and in relation to the registration plates of private vehicles. "This has not been completed to date, not because of Greece's responsibility, but it has not been completed because there were bureaucratic, organizational or other problems on the part of the Republic of North Macedonia," Gerapetritis said.

He added that Greece has a "political duty" to monitor the consistent implementation of the Agreement in these matters and, as he said, when there is non-compliance or non-compliance to react.

"The Greek Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took all the necessary actions, precisely because of the insufficient compliance of the travel documents and their adjustment to the new name. In connection with this is the formal and official informing of the authorities abroad, the Greek diplomatic missions, the authorities in the EU as well as the member states of the European Union, so that there is a full understanding of the implementation of the Prespa Agreement", indicated the head of the Greek diplomacy.

He explained that regardless of whether one agrees or not with certain chapters of the Prespa Agreement, "which were timely pointed out", today the agreement is "a legal text, which cannot be modified, binds the Greek state, binds the Greek Parliament". .

At the same time, he once again reiterated and emphasized the Greek support for the European integration not only of North Macedonia, but also of all the countries of the Western Balkans.

- The reality is that apart from the benefits that the countries of the Western Balkans will have with the integration into the European Union, the EU itself will be revitalized, will be upgraded through its expansion to this region, a region that, as we all know, is historically very sensitive. , said Gerapetritis.

He pointed out that "Greece will always be in a position to be able to strengthen the efforts, not only of the Republic of North Macedonia, but also of all the member states from the Western Balkans, on their way to the European family".

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