Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bilateral Relations: Greece and Macedonia hold talks on name

Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia today held United Nations-led talks over the official name of the latter country and related outstanding issues – the first time such discussions have been held in the region and involved the participation of one of the two nations’ foreign ministers.

The Secretary-General’s Personal Representative Matthew Nimetz met today with the parties in Ohrid in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, according to a statement issued after the talks. Antonio Milososki, that country’s Foreign Minister, participated.

Mr. Nimetz described the negotiations as “characterized by a full and open discussion and a willingness by the parties to seriously listen to their counterparts’ positions. There was agreement to maintain momentum by having the next meeting in a few weeks in Greece.”

The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between the two countries regarding the official name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It also obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to try to reach agreement on their dispute.