Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has resigned after a dispute over the country's controversial name deal with Macedonia.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias addresses journalists during a joint press conference with his newly appointed Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece, March 5, 2018.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias addresses journalists during a joint press conference with his newly appointed Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece, March 5, 2018. (Reuters)

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias quit his post on Wednesday, the government said, in a cabinet dispute over the country's controversial name deal with Macedonia.

Earlier, it had been widely reported Kotzias had clashed with Defence Minister Panos Kammenos over a deal brokering an end to a decades-old name dispute with Macedonia.

"Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has accepted the foreign minister's resignation," the PM's office said in a statement, adding that Tsipras himself would take over the post.

Greek media reported on Wednesday that Kotzias and Kammenos, a coalition partner in the government, had argued during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Talks on Macedonia naming 

Kotzias was Greece's main negotiator in the talks that led to the June accord with Skopje to rename the neighbouring country North Macedonia.

That deal has however been thrown in limbo following a referendum in Macedonia on September 30, which failed to muster a minimum turnout to render it valid.

Kammenos, who heads the small right-wing Independent Greeks party, is vehemently against the accord with Macedonia and has said he could quit the government over it. 

Source: Reuters