Czech Republic urges EU to start talks with North Macedonia

The Czech prime minister is urging the European Union to start accession talks with North Macedonia, saying failure to do so would send the wrong message to would-be members of the bloc.

Andrej Babish says EU leaders should “keep their word” in starting negotiations with the small Balkan country, which changed its name from Macedonia under a deal to normalize relations with neighboring Greece.

The agreement earlier this year was designed to ease North Macedonia’s way into NATO and the EU — which Greece opposed for years because of the name dispute.

North Macedonia has been a candidate to join the 28-nation union since 2005. Its government hopes accession talks will start by the autumn.

Babish spoke following talks in Skopje Tuesday with North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

AP

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