BERLIN - Leaders from a number of Balkan and European countries have added their call to the chorus asking for Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to settle on a name.
The differences over what to call FYROM must be “resolved urgently,” participants at an EU-Western Balkans meeting in Berlin agreed, without recommending how that could happen, the Athens News Agency said.
The meeting was organized by Germany and sought to improve regional cooperation and the accession process of Western Balkan countries into the EU. Participants included Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Foreign and Finance Ministers from Germany, Austria, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, FYRoM, Croatia and Slovenia.
“Participants agreed that this difference must be resolved urgently, with all sides showing willingness for reconciliation,” a joint press announcement by the German Chancellery said.
Among those attending were European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who chairs the South East Europe Cooperation Process.
Officials from Greece and FYROM, as well as United Nations envoys, have made no progress in more than 20 years of infrequent talks over the name of Greece’s northern neighbor should be, although virtually every compromise offered still includes the use of the word “Macedonia” which Greece gave away and has been trying to take back ever since.