Australia reaffirms commitment to using the name ‘North Macedonia’

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The Australian government has reaffirmed its commitment to the Prespa Agreement’s naming conventions for ‘North Macedonia.’

On 14 February 2019, the Government of North Macedonia advised that the Prespa Agreement, signed with Greece in June 2018, had come into force. As a result, the country would be known as the Republic of North Macedonia (short form ‘North Macedonia’). On 19 February 2019, Australia adopted these naming conventions as official nomenclature.

In recent months, there have been repeated violations of the Prespa Agreement by the newly elected president, Gordana Siljanovska, and prime minister of the Balkan country, Hristijan Mickoski, who insist on referring to it as “Macedonia” and not by its constitutional name of “North Macedonia.”

North Macedonia's new President, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova
North Macedonia’s new President, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova. Photo: Robert Atanasovskis/AFP via Getty Images.

The Halkidikeon Association “Aristotelis” recently wrote to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) asking for a clarification on the position of the Federal Government after these latest developments coming from Greece’s northern neighbour.

In response, the DFAT said “Australia has no plans at present to change its use of the naming conventions set out in the Prespa Agreement.”

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade encourages all levels of government in Australia to use the agreed nomenclature relating to North Macedonia,” the letter read.

The positive actions of the Halkidikeon Association “Aristotelis” were praised by the Panmacedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria. The Association has also requested further advice and information on related issues, including the use of the Sun of Vergina symbol and the public display of racially inflammatory maps, as well as the presence of these symbols and maps at events visited by government officials and parliamentarians.

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