ATHENS – Repeating what he often says while visiting, UN special mediator Matthew Nimetz again said he believes that one day there will be an answer to the dilemma of the FYROM name dispute but he doesn’t have any right now.
Nimetz, who has been shuttling from the U.S. to Athens to Skopje for years without making any progress on what should be the name for FYROM that Greece will accept, nonetheless said he was optimistic.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens, Nimetz said he believed the two sides, who barely talk to each other and often exchange hostile shots, would work it out.
“Given the fact that there is a common desire to solve the issue and some ideas floating around that may be the basis for some solution, I do think that this is an issue that will get resolved,” Nimetz said. “Exactly when I cannot say,” he added, essentially saying what he usually says.
Venizelos described the meeting with the UN envoy as “useful and interesting,” diplomatic tone for a meeting at which nothing was solved, and said Greece wants to resolve the issue.
Since allowing the use of the word “Macedonia,” in the composite Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia more than 20 years ago, Greece has been trying to take it back in some fashion.
Many other countries call FYROM by the name it prefers, Republic of Macedonia but Greece said that usurps the name of its own northern province that abuts the neighboring country.
Sources told Kathimerini that Greek negotiators reiterated that Athens will only accept a composite name with a geographical qualifier and that it would have to be added before the word “Macedonia” and not before “Republic.”
Speaking from Skopje, FYROM’s conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski blamed Greece for the lack of progress as he always does, while Greece always blames FYROM and nothing gets solved.
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