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Macedonia might get date for EU accession talk by end of June: Spanish FM April 21, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Macedonia, Spain.
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A senior Spanish official said on Tuesday that Macedonia might get a date for the start of its accession talks to join the European Union by the end of this June.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country holds the current rotating EU presidency, said that his country will invest all its energy to make this happen before its presidency ends by the end of June.

“We are making efforts and I am convinced that it could happen by the end of the Spanish presidency,” Moratinos said at a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Antonio Milososki in Skopje.

He said that his optimistic because he is satisfied with the preparations undertaken by Macedonia for start of accession talks, adding that 2010 will be a good year for Macedonia’s integration into the EU and NATO.

In December last year, the EU postponed the decision to grant Macedonia the much desired date for start of its accession talks due to the unresolved name issue between Macedonia and its southern neighbor Greece.

Greece has been opposed to its northern neighbor using the name of Macedonia, arguing that the name implies territorial claims against its own northern province, also called Macedonia.

Macedonia’s bid to join NATO was also thwarted by Greece over the same dispute in 2008.

“We don’t want to waste time any more. We need your country in the EU,” Moratinos.

However, in a later speech to Macedonia’s parliament, the Spanish foreign minister said the dispute must be settled in due time, pushing for final efforts into solving the issue.

“Unless the name row is settled, we are wasting time and the region of Western Balkans cannot be stabilized,” he warned.

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