Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and his North Macedonia counterpart Zoran Zaev were awarded the Ewald von Kleist Award in recognition of their efforts to end the name dispute between the two countries.
"I never believed, especially in the difficult period of 2015 that four years later I would be here to receive this award from the prime minister of Bavaria. Never say never" Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after being honoured, along with Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, with the Ewald von Kleist award in Munich on Saturday evening.
"Today we celebrate the hope, not as an abstract concept, but the hope as specific prospect that is based on real solution and compromises, a hope based on our common European vision, on friendship and on good neighbourly relations," Tsipras said.
Tsipras noted that the young people of Greece and North Macedonia will jointly build a better future.
The most important award for us, said Tsipras, is that we lay the foundations for a real friendship and cooperation between our peoples and I believe that both of us (Tsipras and Zaev) strongly believe this. This award does not belong to us but to our peoples and to their future" noted Tsipras.
"I have three words to describe the success of our friendship: Hope, Dialogue and Unity," Zaev said in his speech at the ceremony, extending gratitude to citizens of his country, UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, European Union Commissioner Johannes Hahn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well the foreign ministers of both countries, according to the statement.
The award ceremony was held at the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Head of the German Bavarian State Chancellery, Florian Herrmann, hosted the awarding ceremony.