NIMETZ WITH FINAL NAME PROPOSAL
UN special envoy regarding the Greek-Macedonian name negotiations, Matthew Nimetz presented Tuesday in Athens his latest proposal aimed at overcoming the 17-year dispute over the use of Macedonia's constitutional name.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the US diplomat stressed that his proposal "doesn't fully comply with the positions of any party". "Overall, I believe it is a fair and dignified proposal, said Nimetz, adding that he expected the responses from Athens and Skopje in terms of the proposal in the upcoming couple of weeks."
Both officials from Athens and Skopje Adamantios Vassilakis and Nikola Dimitrov, after the meeting, stopped short of giving details about the latest and, according to announcements, final proposal by the mediator. In recent days, media both in Macedonia and Greece speculated on possible versions, which have not been formally confirmed neither in New York and Washington as well as in Skopje and Athens.
Macedonia's state leadership is united on its approach to the name dispute, Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said ahead of Tuesday's talks. - I would like to point out that Macedonia's goal is to keep nourishing friendly relations with Greece, to join NATO and preserve its national interests, Milososki said yesterday.
Tuesday's meeting of the negotiating troika took place several days following last week's separate talks in Washington between Macedonian, Greek foreign ministers and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who urged both sides to use the process conducted by Nimetz for final closing of the issue.
The official position represented by Macedonia for a longer period of time within the name dispute talks is the so called double formula - one name which will be determined for bilateral communication with Greece and the constitutional name for the rest of the world.
Greek governmental officials in the previous months on several occasion stated that Greece as a solution to the problem might accept a complex name containing the word Macedonia, which should be also used for international, not only bilateral communication. Official Athens in the "messages" sent to Skopje threatened to block Macedonia's NATO accession.
For nearly 17 years, Greece has denied Macedonia's right to use its constitutional name, saying that it could imply territorial aspirations to the Greek province with the same name. Due to the objections and pressures from Athens, the accession of the Republic of Macedonia in UN on April 8 1993 was done under the temporary reference "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
So far, Macedonia has established diplomatic ties with more than 160 countries. A total of 120 countries have already recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, including three permanent members of the UN Security Council - USA, Russia and China.
MD: We are all awaiting the exact final proposal, but we don't think it will be accepted and why should we accept it? Macedonia has a name, and that's it. 120 countries recognized Macedonia by it's name, that says enough. Greece should rest their case.