Macedonia becomes North Macedonia as UN confirms

The Republic of Macedonia on Tuesday officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

AFP reports the United Nations has also confirmed that it has been officially informed by the Macedonian government that the country’s new name is North Macedonia.

The country can be called “North Macedonia” for short and the national language should continue to be referred to as “Macedonian,” state spokesman Mile Boshnjakovski told CNN.

He added that its citizens should continue to be called “Macedonians,” not “North Macedonians.”

Macedonia is a country of south-central Balkans. It is bordered to the north by Kosovo and Serbia, to the east by Bulgaria, to the south by Greece, and to the west by Albania. The capital is Skopje.

Road signs on the border with Greece are being changed to reflect the name change. This ends a nearly three decade-long dispute with Greece over use of the term “Macedonia.”

With the name change, the country can now become a member of NATO. A dream that has been blocked by Greece which has a region called Macedonia.

With the country’s 1991 declaration of independence from Yugoslavia, Macedonia has been in dispute with Greece which argued that the new country usurped the name of its ancient Greek Macedonia heritage. About 130 countries recognized the country as Macedonia but the United Nations and other international bodies used “Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia,” as agreed in an interim accord in 1995.

The former Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, tweeted in celebration that Greece safeguards an important part of its history, the heritage of Ancient Greek Macedonia.