Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrived in the North-Macedonian capital Skopje on Tuesday morning following an invitation by his counterpart Zoran Zaef. It is the first time a Greek prime ministers visits its neighbor in the North.
Video: Welcome ceremony posted by A. Tsipras
The visit is taking place almost ten months after the two leaders signed the Prespes Agreement ending a decades-long name dispute and two months after its implementation.
Video: Welcome cemenony posted by Z. Zaef
The visit is considered “historic” and marks a new beginning in diplomatic, economic, military and energy relations between the two countries, with the aim of promoting them to strategic relations.
Bright smiles, lots of selfies and warm welcomes with “My Alexis!”, “My Zoran!”
Diplomatic sources speak of significant opportunities will arise for cooperation and joint development following the Prespes Agreement. “This visit is another step towards consolidating Greece’s leading role in Southeastern Europe as a pillar of peace, stability and growth,” they stressed.
Accompanied by ten cabinet ministers, PM Tsipras arrived at Skopje airport at 10:30 Tuesday morning.
A business delegation with over 140 executives and representatives from more than 100 large and medium-sized businesses also accompanies the Greek PM in Skopje. According to state news agency amna, among the companies are Mytilineos Group, Intracom, Motor Oil, Prometheus Gas, GEK Terna, Hellenic Petroleum, Aktor, Apivita, PPC, DESFA, Τitan, Viohalco, Sidenor S.A, Alpha Digital, Alumil S.A., Malamatinas & Son S.A. and Ohonos Snack S.A.
Several agreements are scheduled to be signed between the hosts and the guests. These are:
– An action plan to deepen and strengthen cooperation between the two parties – including a broad list of areas of cooperation.
– A Defence Cooperation Agreement between the Greek Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia.
– An agreement on the establishment of a border crossing between the two countries
– A memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of European Affairs of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to accelerate the process of accession of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to the European Union.
– A Memorandum of Cooperation of the Ministries of Transport.
– A Memorandum of Understanding for the Development of the Road and Rail Connection Thessaloniki-Skopje-Tabanovce.