Decade-long Interim Accord between Macedonia and Greece
Ten years have passed since Athens and Skopje vowed to fully normalize the relations, a process still hindering the irrational rift with Greece over Macedonia's constitutional name.
The two countries agreed to normalize relations on 13 September 1995 and signed an Interim Agreement which aimed to restore friendly relations and confidence building. Both countries undertook to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity and to accept the internationally recognized state borders.
The then foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Stevo Crvenkovski and Karolos Papoulias, signed the interim accord in the UN Headquarters in New York in the presence of the then UN mediator in the Greek-Macedonian dispute Sirus Vance.
The document contains 23 Articles, among them is Article 11, according to which, the First party (Greece) agrees not to hinder the membership application of the Other party (Macedonia) to any international, multilateral and regional organization, in which the First party is a member.
As regards the human and cultural rights, both parties have agreed to act in the spirit and principles of democracy, in line with the UN Charter and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms including other international documents.
Macedonia undertook to remove the Virginia's sun from its national flag, whilst Greece undertook to lift within 30 days the trade blockade which it imposed on Macedonia in February 1994.
Following the ratification by Macedonian Parliament of the interim accord on 15 October 1995, Greece opened its border with Macedonia. Macedonian parliament altered the state flag 10 days beforehand.
The interim accord came after several-year long blackmails and trade blockades by Greece, including massive anti-Macedonians protests in Thessaloniki, and the so-called Lisbon declaration adopted by the European Council in June 1992.
Brussels agreed to recognize Macedonia but not under its constitutional name Republic of Macedonia.
The condition, set by the then Greek prime minister Konstantin Micotakis, was that Macedonia changes its name into Republic Macedonia -Skopje. Macedonian parliament debated the motion in December 1995 and decided to reject it.
Two months later, the then Macedonian president Kiro Gligorov initiated country's formal application for UN membership under the provisional name - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Macedonia was admitted to the United Nations under a provisional name on 8 April 1993. The country became the 181st member of the world organization under FYROM reference and with no flag.
Ten years after the signing of the interim accord, Greece still objects to Macedonia's use of what it considers a Hellenic name and symbols.
The two countries resumed the negotiations over disputed name under the auspices of the United Nations, however, there has been no significant breakthrough in terms of reaching a mutually agreeable solution.
More than 100 countries around the world have recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name. Among the countries that recognized Macedonia's name are three permanent members of the UN Security Council - US, Russia and China.