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Talking Europe

FYR Macedonia's foreign minister: 'We can't change history but we can shape our future'

Our guest is Nikola Dimitrov, foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. His country has a unique hurdle to overcome: its name. Neighbouring Greece has long been unhappy about the republic sharing a name with its own historic, northern region. As a result, Athens has long blocked Macedonia's attempts to join both the EU and NATO. A deal between the two countries' governments had looked to have unlocked the issue earlier this year. But there's still resistance on both sides.

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Nikola Dimitrov, foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, explains why he would like an agreement on the name and a compromise with Greece.

He also insists on fighting corruption in the country to follow the rule of law and on wanting to join the EU, even if it will take time. "We want to convince European voters, not only governments, that the accession process can transform a country. It is more important for us to become European than to formally join [the bloc]", he told FRANCE 24's Catherine Nicholson.

Produced by Isabelle Romero, Mathilde Bénézet and Roxane Runel

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