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Ivanov sworn in as Macedonia's 4th president
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08:57, May 13, 2009

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Gjorge Ivanov was sworn in Tuesday as Macedonia's fourth president since the country gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, local media reported.

In his inaugural address in the Macedonian capital Skopje, Ivanov vowed to make every effort to improve the well-being of the state and its citizens.

"My job is to lead Macedonia into NATO and EU, to make it strong, respected and equal, while its citizens feel proud, rich and happy," Ivanov said.

The new president said he would lead a responsible foreign policy during his five-year term and pay special attention to relations with southern neighbor Greece.

"I will do everything in my power to develop bilateral relations in the spirit of good neighborly relations and mutual trust," Ivanov said, "We undoubtedly share common European values, dream the same European dream."

Macedonia and Greece have been at odds with each other for the past 19 years over the country's name. Athens has contended that Macedonia's name conceals territorial ambitions over its own northern province of the same name.

Macedonia's NATO bid was thwarted by Greece over the name dispute at the alliance's summit in Bucharest in April last year.


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