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President Ivanov at Iftar dinner with Turkish PM Erdogan September 3, 2012

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Turkey.
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President Gjorge Ivanov met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his summer vacation in Turkey, attending an Iftar dinner in Istanbul on occasion of Muslim holiday Ramadan.

In his address, Ivanov congratulated the holiday, wishing for peace, love, tolerance and mutual understanding to prevail among believers, the President’s Cabinet said in a press release.

“I come from a country that nurtures the eternal tradition of multiethnic and multireligious coexistence, a benefit we are proud of. A benefit showing that our country belongs to the European family of nations and states. Our exceptional contribution as a country where religions, traditions and diverse ethnic groups cooperate in the building of a common home represents a proof that the region, Europe and the world can have a better future”, said Ivanov.

PM Erdogan voiced satisfaction from the fact that the Ramadan holiday was observed together with the Macedonian President, who showed respect to Muslim followers and strengthened traditionally close bilateral relations.

The Iftar dinner was attended by renowned individuals from the fields of politics, business, religion and public life.

During the evening, President Ivanov also met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Ivanov also congratulated Ramadan to Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul during Saturday’s telephone  conversation.

Interlocutors refereed to regional developments, reiterating excellent relations between Macedonia and Turkey, reads the press release.


Further blow in Macedonia name saga September 22, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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Expectations that the current top level gatherings at the UN General Assembly could produce a break-through in the Greek-Macedonian name dispute were disappointed this weekend.

After meeting Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov in New York late on Sunday (19 September), Matthew Nimetz, the UN mediator for the name issue, failed to come forward with a new proposal for the resolution of the 17-year-long dispute. He simply urged both sides to continue bilateral contacts at the highest level.

Zoran Jolevski, Macedonian negotiator (r) and UN mediator Matthew Nimetz

Coming just weeks ahead of a Nato summit and the next annual report by European Commission on Macedonia, Mr Nimetz’s statement left little room for hope that the name issue could be swiftly settled, something that would open the way for Macedonia’s Nato membership and EU accession talks.

“There is an increased sense of confidence that the problem can be resolved with dialogue at very high level between the leadership of the countries,” Mr Nimetz told reporters. He refused to speculate on whether the row could be overcome before the Nato summit in November.

The Macedonian President repeated the position of the government that Macedonia was committed to find a solution.

Mr Nimetz described the contacts between Skopje and Athens as a “very positive development.” They had raised expectations in Macedonia and the EU that the name row was at last headed for disentanglement. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton had both stated the climate was good for a solution and urged Macedonia to solve the problem as soon as possible in order to start membership talks with the EU.

However, the Macedonian and Greek Prime Ministers could not confirm they would meet again during the 65th UN General Assembly as expected. Stevo Pendarovski, a Macedonian political analyst and presidential security adviser, offered a sceptical reading of what Mr Nimetz had to say after his latest effort.

“His statement means that he does not see a role for him in this dispute for the moment. It probably means that the positions of both sides are totally opposed and he does not have any new ideas how to make them come closer.”

Mr Pendarovski has participated in a number of negotiating sessions with Mr Nimetz and confirmed the mediator had never acted so downbeat before.

Athens is asking Skopje to add a geographical determinant to its name Republic of Macedonia fearing that the simple form of the name implies territorial claims against its own northern province, also called Macedonia.

In 2008 Athens blocked Macedonian Nato membership and last December blocked its accession talks with the EU. Greece says it will continue to veto its northern neighbour´s Euro-Atlantic ambitions until a solution for the name issue is found.

Macedonia excited about South Stream role July 18, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Russia.
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A link to the South Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe will place Macedonia on the regional energy map, the Macedonian president said.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov arrived home this week following a visit to St. Petersburg to meet with top political and business leaders.

Ivanov returned to Macedonia with a new energy agreement with Russia that includes a role in the South Stream gas pipeline for Europe, the Southeast European Times reports.

South Stream would carry around 2.2 trillion cubic feet of gas per year through southern European countries by 2015.

An extension would link Macedonia to the pipeline as part of expansions planned for the country’s gas network.

Ivanov said his country has so far not been included in the European energy sector to any significant degree.

“The situation now changes and that is most important, that we can be included in the global economic investments,” he said.

Macedonian president says country ready for solution over the name dispute with Greece June 21, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Yunanistan.
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Macedonia is ready to resolve the name dispute with Greece that has kept the Balkan country out of NATO as long as the solution does not undermine Macedonia’s national identity, the president said Monday.

The dispute dates from Macedonia’s 1991 independence from Yugoslavia. Greece says use of the name Macedonia implies territorial claims on its own region with the same name, and has blocked Macedonian efforts to join NATO since 2008 while threatening to do the same at the European Union.

“We need a compromise in which there will be no winners and losers and which will be equally acceptable for all citizens. We are ready to reach such a solution,” President Gjorge Ivanov told reporters after holding talks with Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus, who was in Skopje on a two-day visit.

“Macedonia is ready to reach a solution that would be mutually acceptable and which will not embrace the Macedonian identity and dignity,” Ivanov said.

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.