"We are here to walk together on a new path of security, our signature today lays the foundation for this course," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday at Psarades in Prespes, before the signature of a historic agreement to resolve the decades-long name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Welcoming FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev as a friend and neighbour, Tsipras said that they were both at their own date with history, at the spot that had seen both victors and defeat.
"We are here to measures up with the weight of our own history," he added. "We are both here to fulfill our patriotic duty, not to mourn the defeats of the past."
"When we met six months ago in Davos, Zoran, very few believed we would succeed," the prime minister added and thanked the foreign ministers of the two countries and the United Nations, saying the presence of the prime ministers in Prespes on this day was due to them.
We arrived at a mutually beneficial agreement, the prime minister said, noting that the agreement allows the two prime minister to address their people and support this patriotic agreement.
"We have a historic responsibility to not let this step remain unfinished," he said.
"The sensitivities of our peoples were a guide for the signature of this agreement," the prime minister said. The viability of an agreement does not end with its legal dimensions, Tsipras noted, and referred to the steps taken to improve relations between the two countries.
"The fates of the people and countries of the Balkans is interlinked, as is that of the countries of Europe," he said.
"Our goal is that the song of joy that we write today shall be sung for many generations to come," Tsipras added, noting that he was a great lover of Balkan music, which is sung in all languages. "In the great tradition of Balkan music, dirges figure prominently but also songs of joy and this is the kind of song we are starting to write here in Prespes, to be sung in your language and our language," the prime minister said.
"Today we ar taking this historic step, necessary for our peoples," the prime minister added.