Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Greece-Macedonia: Greece, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia wrap up talks

Representatives of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have wrapped up two days of United Nations-mediated talks on the dispute over the official name of the latter country, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General announced today.

Matthew Nimetz said the discussions in New York were helpful and focused on the optimal way to move the process forward in a constructive manner. He added that he was given firm assurances that each Government is sincere in its interest in finding a solution and that they fully respect the UN process.

A UN-brokered interim accord in 1995 details the differences between the two countries over the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It obliges both Athens and Skopje to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General to try to reach an agreement, but so far they have not succeeded.

Mr. Nimetz met separately with Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece and Ambassador Zoran Jolevski of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the two days. Both sides presented the positions of their respective Governments on the name issue as they stand at the present time.

He said he will consult further with the representatives regarding arranging a visit to the two capitals to continue the discussions.

“As we move forward, I have asked the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the resolution of their difference by promoting a positive atmosphere through their actions and public statements,” he stated.