'We have a deal', Greek PM says over Macedonian name row

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of his government at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece, September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and Macedonia have reached a historic accord to resolve a decades-old dispute over the name of the tiny Balkan nation, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.

“I have good news .. a while ago we reached an agreement with the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on an issue which has been on our minds for many years,” Tsipras told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a televised meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have a deal, I’m happy because we have a good deal which covers all the preconditions set by the Greek side,” he said. Tsipras had earlier spoken to his Macedonian counterpart, Zoran Zaev.

The dispute between the two neighbors had been an obstacle to Macedonia joining either the NATO military alliance or the European Union.

Reporting By Michele Kambas