FINAL PROPOSAL ON 6 OCTOBER
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is set to invite negotiators of Macedonia and Greece in early October to hand them his final proposal for settlement of the name row.
The meeting will take place in two weeks, probably on 6 October, Greek news agency ANA-MPA said citing diplomats. The same sources say Nimetz is set to make "take it or leave it" offer and also set a deadline to both parties to come up with a reply.
The explanation for setting a deadline is that name dispute should be resolved now or negotiations are likely to be suspended for a long period due to presidential elections in the United States in November and mayoral elections in Macedonia slated for March.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to meet Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis today to convey Washington's intention to secure a fast-track accession of Macedonia into NATO.
Rice will probably raise the issue of Greece's energy cooperation with Russia, including Washington's plans to allow Greece join the visa-waiver program in exchange of bigger flexibility in Athens' policy, diplomats are quoted by ANA-MPA.
Reliable sources say reports coming from New York and Washington say in case a deal is reached on the name issue, the deal should be implemented through a Declaration from Athens and Skopje stating that the two parties have different position on the Macedonian language and identity and this issue will be resolved on the basis of the UN principles.
The same sources said the U.S. Department of State envisages a transitional period for Skopje to carry out the necessary changes in case a deal is reached on a name with a geographical qualifier, to be used in international relations.