Macedonian parliament agrees to change country's name

The Macedonian parliament has amended the constitution to rename the country as the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev secured the required majority in parliament on Friday that was needed to rename the country in line with a landmark agreement with Greece to end a decades-long dispute.

Parliamentary speaker Talad Xhaferi said 81 MPs voted in favour of the name change in the 120-seat chamber, securing the required two-thirds majority.

A spokesperson for the governing Social Democrats said the ethnic Albanian legislators also agreed to back the deal.

Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million people.

Albania has congratulated Macedonia's parliament vote on name change as "a clear demonstration of statesmanship unlocking NATO and EU path".

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati tweeted after the vote, saying "the contribution of Albanian political parties once again proved to be a decisive factor".

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