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Belgium’s EU Presidency hopes for name row settlement in few weeks June 28, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Belgium, Macedonia, Yunanistan.
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Upcoming Belgium’s EU Presidency has been informed that the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece is to be settled in few weeks, Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere told Radio Deutsche Welle on Friday.

– Yesterday I once again talked with senior foreign affairs officials, who are aware  that the ongoing Greece-Macedonia negotiations need discreetness to result in a solution, Vanackere said, refusing to reveal more details that may bring harm to the (negotiating) process.

He however expressed belief that the matter should be settled in the next few weeks.

Outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme also heralded his opinion, reminding that the name row settlement, in addition to meeting the Union’s membership criteria, is a prerequisite for opening of Macedonia’s EU entry talks. Western Balkans countries will join EU as soon as they harmonize the national with the European legislation, he said.

– Belgium is aware that the historic opportunity for the (EU) integration of Western Balkan countries has to be seized. However it should be evaluated first whether the Copenhagen Criteria and all other standards have been meet for opening of the accession talks. It is clear that the name dispute with Greece still exists and it is a matter that should be resolved, Leterme said.

Today Belgium, which is to take over the EU Presidency on July 1, presented its programme, which sets the enlargement process as its fifth priority.

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