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the use of the name “Macedonia” will continue under the auspices of the United Nations February 2, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses, Macedonia, Yunanistan.
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The process of seeking a solution to the Athens – Skopje dispute about the use of the name “Macedonia” will continue under the auspices of the United Nations but bilateral contacts could be helpful, Greece’s alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas said on January 29 2010, a day after meeting Macedonian foreign minister Antonio Milososki in London.

Droutsas and Milososki held talks on the sidelines of an international conference at Lancaster House on Afghanistan.

Speaking to Greece’s SKAI Radio, Droutsas said that the bilateral meeting had been held at the request of Milososki.

Greece was open to such bilateral contacts, and Greek prime minister George Papandreou – who is also his country’s foreign minister – had taken the initiative to invite his counterpart from Skopje to meeting, Droutsas said.

“We believe that these bilateral meetings, the direct contacts, can only help and support the process for finding a name – a process that I stress is being carried out under the auspices of the UN,” Droutsas said.

Asked about a proposal by Macedonia to upgrade the diplomatic missions in the two capital cities, Droutsas said that he had told Milososki that “we are clearly pursuing the substantial improvement of our relations, but I said that at this time, at the level where these relations currently are, I don’t see the reason for such an upgrading”.

Droutsas said that he had called on the leadership in Skopje not to present Greece as the enemy in public opinion.

“We say clearly that Greece is a friend. But Skopje also needs to come to the negotiating table at the UN in a constructive manner so that we can resolve the name issue,” Droutsas said.

Media in Skopje reported Droutsas as saying that he would “consider” the upgrading of embassies. Macedonian media said that the two countries would give Matthew Nimetz, the UN-appointed mediator in the name dispute, “guidelines” in an attempt to speed up negotiations about the dispute.

Greek news agency ANA-MPA said that the possibility of reciprocal visits by Droutsas and Milososki had been discussed.

Droutsas told journalists after the London meeting that Greece was considering the possibility of a bilateral avoidance of double taxation agreement.

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