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Media: US Mulls Macedonia Name Solution January 6, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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The White House

The White House

Washington is suggesting the name “Republic of Northern Macedonia” as a solution to the burning name dispute between Skopje and Athens, the Greek daily Eleftherotypia reported, citing unnamed US diplomats.

In return for this name, that would satisfy Greece’s demands, the US is proposing the country’s identity and nationality are referred to as ‘Macedonian’, the diplomats allegedly said.

The allegations have not been confirmed or denied.

According to the newspaper, which is one of the most widely circulated in Greece, the US would exert pressure over both countries to find a solution through the UN Athens-Skopje mediator, US diplomat Matthew Nimetz.

Washington will press ahead to persuade UN Security Council members to approve the new name and begin using it in bilateral relations with Macedonia.

“It’s time to put an end to the name row” and to realize the importance of its possible settlement and of Macedonia’s accession to Euro-Atlantic structures, the newspaper cites the US diplomats as saying.

The new US administration is learning from past mistakes, the daily said, and is now planning to intercept in advance of Greece’s arguments before NATO and EU summits in 2010, when Macedonia’s accession to the organisaitons will once again be at the discussion table.

Washington pressed Greece during the 2008 Bucharest NATO summit to accept a compromise, but failed to achieve one.

Athens insists that Skopje’s official name, Republic of Macedonia implies territorial claims towards its own northern province which is also called Macedonia.

Last week, Greece also blocked Macedonia from getting a desired date for the start of its EU accession talks over the same issue. The EU Council of Ministers then decided to postpone the debate on Macedonia’s date for the next six months.

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