“Macedonia and Greece have agreed to form working groups led by the ministers of foreign affairs who will lead the negotiations for solving the 25-year name dispute, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov for the Reuters agency. He expects that the first meeting of the new working groups will be held in February, where the negotiations about potential solutions for the dispute will be done directly.” (Meta)

“Macedonia’s parliament has adopted legislation extending the official use of the Albanian language to the entire country. The bill passed on January 11 with the backing of 69 lawmakers in the 120-member parliament, with the main opposition party boycotting the vote. The draft law, which makes Albanian the country’s second official language along with Macedonian, requires approval by President Gjorge Ivanov before coming into effect. It has sparked much criticism from members of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party and others who described the text as unconstitutional and against Macedonia’s national interests.” (RFE/RL)

“For the large community of Macedonians living in Washington and populated regions around the US capital, the celebration of the Orthodox New Year with the inevitable Vasilica masks and dances is an event requiring even more tickets. Carnival in honor of the Orthodox feast of Vasilica is a major event in Washington in January, MIA reports. The prestigious Washington Post, in 2014 assessed the masquerade as an event not to be missed. This year, as in all past 10 editions of the carnival, Macedonians, representatives of the diplomatic corps, international and government officials in Washington, and many others, about a hundred in number, celebrated in masks and costumes of Batman, Quasimodo, Napoleon and other known and unknown characters.” (translated from Sitel)

Macedonians in America protested on Sunday in front of the Macedonian Embassy in Washington, D.C., over the identity of Macedonia and Macedonians. The protest, a part of the #WeAreMacedonia Global Movement, aims to send a clear message that the name should not be negotiated, and that Macedonian is their identity and language. “We won’t tolerate our very existence to be negotiated. We won’t tolerate re-defining of Macedonia and the Macedonian nation-state. Macedonia is Our Name! Macedonian is Our Identity and Language!” says the event on Facebook. This comes on the heels of Albanian language becoming an official language in the whole country and negotiations over the name gaining steam. A video from the protest shows United Macedonian Diaspora President Meto Koloski giving the organization’s declaration the the “We are Macedonia” movement. A second protest is planned for Wednesday at 10am in front of the United Nations in New York where the Macedonian Ambassador will meet the Greek Ambassador and mediator Matthew Nimetz.