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Name ‘Macedonian Chairmanship’ Not Disputable, Says Macedonia’s Ivanov April 18, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Yunanistan.
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The use of the adjective “Macedonian” to describe the country’s chairmanship with the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers is incontestable, Macedonian President Georgi Ivanov said.

His remarks came on Wednesday after he met in Skopje with his Albanian counterpart, Bamir Topi.

“Macedonia has been admitted to the Council of Europe by the [UN provisional] name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, [FYROM]. However, the adjective Macedonian is not disputable within the Council of Europe. Hence, the term ‘Macedonian chairmanship’ is the name under which Macedonia will preside over the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers,” he said.

Starting in May, Skopje is to preside over the Committee for six months. Macedonia has announced that its chairmanship will be held under the name ‘Macedonian chairmanship’.

On Tuesday Athens reacted to the name, accusing Skopje of deliberate provocation.

The adjective Macedonian is part of our identity, Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki stated previously this week. He argued that no one has the right to question this as it goes against the most basic right of self determination.

Greece and Macedonia are locked in an almost two decade long spat over the use of the name Macedonia. Athens claims that Skopje’s formal name, Republic of Macedonia, implies territorial claims against its own northern province, which is also called Macedonia.

In 2008 Athens blocked Skopje’s entry to NATO and last autumn a similar blockade was raised in the EU, hampering the start of Skopje’s EU accession talks.

The UN sponsored talks aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute are expected to resume by the end of this month.

It is still not clear whether the term “Macedonian Presidency” will be used at all, local media have reported, citing Macedonian representatives in the COE. Daily Vreme wrotes that the COE Committee of Ministers has the final word on such matters and that it has not yet made its decision.

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