At today’s press conference, to mark the one year anniversary of the new government, near the Monument of Liberators from the National Liberation War, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed that Macedonia is making steps towards the European Union and NATO, and that the name dispute is being resolved, and the country’s identity is strengthened.

“We have never been closer to finding a solution; the friendship of the countries has never been greater. The Macedonian language has been confirmed, the identity of the Macedonians has been confirmed. Macedonia needs leadership and a step forward, not just empty words. There will be a referendum, the citizens have the final say. True patriots are those who move Macedonia forward. By resolving the dispute, we can enter NATO. The region can not afford a step backwards. Macedonia is on the right track, thorough reforms have been recognized by all EU countries. We showed the world that the political crisis is now behind us”, Zaev said.

He did not want to comment on whether the agreed name was “Northern Macedonia”.

“There has been no agreement on a specific name yet, principles have been agreed, the legal-formal part of the agreement is working. Follow the conversation with Tsipras perhaps tonight, tomorrow to Friday, if there is anything, I will share it with the public, you know that we are transparent. We stand by the decision to put forward a referendum, and let all the steps follow in order”, said Zaev.

Regarding the remarks made by President Gjorge Ivanov, the prime minister said that he was informed in detail at the leaders’ meeting. He announced that Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov will today call for a meeting with President Ivanov to inform him about all the details discussed in Brussels.

“After the conversation with Tsipras, President Ivanov and all institutions for the course of the talks will be informed again,” Zaev added.

Regarding the “non-paper”, Zaev says it is nothing new that France and the Netherlands have reserves concerning EU enlargement and that he had a meeting in Sofia with their political leaders to explain the suspicions in the “non-paper”.