Zaev Calls Greece Stategic Partner of North Macedonia, Agreement to Open Borders for Tourism, Albania Ignored

“Today we must reach an agreement as to how our borders will open for tourism to Greece in terms of COVID-19 pandemic measures," said North Macedonian PM during a meeting with Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis who reviewed bilateral relations and examined the opportunities for collaboration in the economic and energy sectors at a meeting in Athens on Thursday.
Zaev is in Athens to participate in the Delphi Economic Forum VI, according to on Friday.
Skopje's PM called Greece “our main neighbour and our strategic partner,” and said that his country “has no other option, as is true of other West Balkan countries, beyond a future in the European Union.”
He expressed his appreciation that his country is now a NATO member, and that the Hellenic Air Force patrols its air space.
At an event a month ago celebrating the one-year anniversary of North Macedonia’s membership into NATO, Greek flights over Skopje and other parts of the country “were very well received by our citizens,” Zaev said.
“Today we must reach an agreement as to how our borders will open for tourism to Greece” in terms of COVID-19 pandemic measures, Zaev said.
He said that citizens of his country were looking forward to “crossing the borders and coming to Thessaloniki for coffee and food.”
The visiting prime minister then reviewed ongoing project agreements being developed between the two countries.
North Macedonia is “in the final stages of contacts with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) for the operation of the oil pipeline,” he said, while the hope is that a final agreement is signed by the end of May so that the pipeline may begin operations.
ELPE will also have the opportunity to supply oil to Serbia, including the breakaway region of Kosovo, and the wider Balkans area.
In terms of investing in Greece, North Macedonia is planning to sign a memorandum with the Kopelouzos Group, he noted, “our first investment in Greece, for energy projects in Alexandroupolis.”
Additionally, another large business will participate in the bid to construct a railroad connection on the road and rail Pan-European Corridor VIII, Zaev said, a European axis that will link Italy, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
“This is positive for entrepreneurship in the wider area, it is the largest project, and there are opportunities for several investments,” Prime Minister Zaev told Mitsotakis.
Greece continues to keep tightly locked its borders with Albania with their relationship changing in the strangest way with ups and downs within months.