Macedonia removes 'Alexander the Great' name from airport in gesture to Greece

ASSOCIATED PRESS
SKOPJE, Macedonia
Published
Workers remove the letters of the sign for the airport Alexandar the Great on the airport building near capital of Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Feb. 24 2018 (EPA Photo)
Workers remove the letters of the sign for the airport Alexandar the Great on the airport building near capital of Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Feb. 24 2018 (EPA Photo)

Macedonia has begun the process of changing the name of its airport honoring the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great as a goodwill gesture to Greece.

Turkish consortium TAV, which operates Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, started removing the 3-meter-long (9.8 feet) letters spelling out the name from the terminal Saturday.

The airport's new name will be Skopje International Airport. It was called Skopje Airport before Macedonia's previous government named it for Alexander in 2006.

Macedonia and Greece are working to resolve a 25-year dispute over the Macedonia name.

Greece argues that Macedonia's use of it when it gained independence in 1991 implies territorial claims to its Macedonia province, where Alexander was born.

The current government also plans to change the name of a highway bearing Alexander's name to Prijatelstvo, which is Macedonian for friendship.

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