Zaev-Merkel phone conversation: The implementation of the Prespa agreement is very good news for Europe

On Wednesday 03.04.2019, Prime Minister Zaev had a phone conversation with Chancellor Merkel.

In the conversation it was confirmed that the visit by the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras to North Macedonia, on Tuesday 2 April, 2019, and the joint governments' session, was a historic moment. The positive developments between North Macedonia and Greece is a positive example for the Western Balkan region and good news for Europe.

The implementation of the Prespa Agreement confirms that the dialogue and diplomacy produce positive results to overcome open issues, and can bring direct economic benefits for the citizens. As prime minister Zaev informed, several agreements for strengthening and developing the cooperation were signed between the governments of North Macedonia and Greece. In addition, a business forum was held in Skopje, with more than 140 companies from Greece and 250 companies from North Macedonia.

Prime Minister Zaev also informed Chancellor Merkel about the other political developments in the country, such as maintaining the open dialogue with the opposition for the reforms, where concrete results have been achieved in adopting a new law for anti-discrimination, the formation of the anti-corruption commission and the reforms in the security services and the public administration. The dialogue continues in relation to the future of the Special Public Prosecutor.

Prime Minister Zaev thanked Chancellor Merkel for the support Germany has been providing in all processes including overcoming the "name-dispute" with neighboring Greece, the internal reforms and especially for the economic advisor that was provided by Germany to assist the government of North Macedonia. Germany has been the biggest trade partner of North Macedonia and the interest of German investors has been increasing. In addition, with the assistance of German partners the dual education model is being implemented in the country.

Considering the above-mentioned developments, Prime Minister Zaev asked for support for the decision to start the negotiations with North Macedonia by the EU Council in June. He underlined that since the country has candidate status for EU membership since 2005, it concluded the Prespa Agreement and has results in the reform processes, it is time for the EU Council to give a positive decision for opening accession negotiations. This decision will be an additional encouragement for the reforms in North Macedonia to continue.

Chancellor Merkel greeted the positive developments in the implementation of the Prespa Agreement and the implementation of the domestic reforms through an open dialogue with the opposition, that will bring concrete positive results.