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“Republic of North Macedonia” Acceptable For Greece May 23, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses.

The name “Republic of North Macedonia” meets Greek expectations for a solution to its name spat with Skopje, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas told Greek media.

“UN mediator Matthew Nimetz presented the idea of the name ‘Republic of North Macedonia’. The Greek position on the name issue is known; it wants a composite name with a geographic qualifier that is used in relations with all other states, so it is obvious that this idea meets Greek expectations,” Droutsas said in an interview with the Greek Sky TV.

Droutsas reiterated that Greece strongly supports Macedonia’s integration into the EU and NATO but stressed that only after the two countries reach a name deal could Skopje hope to join these organisations.

“The Greek government has the political will needed to resolve this issue […] we expect the political leadership of FYROM to change its approach and to step up constructively at the UN negotiating table. If there is political will the problem could be solved soon,” he said.

Asked whether the US administration is pressuring Athens to allow Skopje’s entry into NATO, Droutsas was not concrete. He said that certain countries, including the USA, wish to see a solution found soon that would allow Skopje to swiftly enter NATO.

Skopje and Athens are locked in an long lasting spat over the use of the name Macedonia. Greece, a member of NATO and the EU, conditions its neighbour’s entry into these organisations on a resolution to the dispute.

Athens insists that Skopje’s official name, Republic of Macedonia, implies territorial claims against its own northern province, which is also called Macedonia. Skopje, for its part, is concerned that a name change could threaten the identity of the country.

According to the bilateral UN treaty, both sides are committed to resuming the UN sponsored name talks.



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