NEW YORK – More than two decades of failed talks to settle on a name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have continued with another round that went nowhere.
The United Nations envoy trying to mediate negotiations between Greece and FYROM, Matthew Nimitz, admitted he had again been unable to make any progress after meeting with both sides.
He has been unable to budge either despite trying for years to get them to decide on a mutually-agreed name for the former Yugoslav Republic.
Greece, whose region of Macedonia abuts FYROM, gave away the name Macedonia as part of the acronymn and has been trying to undo it for years. It has blocked FYROM’s hopes of getting into NATO or the European Union in the meantime.
Nimitz called for “greater flexibility” from both sides after hosting talks between Greek diplomat Adamantios Vassilakis and FYROM negotiator Vasko Naumovski in New York.
Nimetz, who visited Athens and Skopje in the summer, did not submit a new proposal designed to settle the dispute. He said that talks would continue in the next few months. He has occasionally said he thought there would be progress but there never is.
Vassilakis said that “no new ideas” were put forward during the talks and that Naumovski, who recently took up his role, “essentially repeated the ideas that Skopje has.” The two countries have been arguing over a single word and every variation has included Macedonia, with geographical qualifiers such as Upper Macedonia and Northern Macedonia.