Greece Responds to UN Name Proposal

12 November 2008 Skopje – Greece has handed back to the UN its reply to latest set of proposals drawn up by the UN’s negotiator Matthew Nimitz aimed at finding a solution to the dispute, the Greek daily To Vima reported.

The reply from Greece’s negotiator Adamantion Vassilakis contained many objections, the newspaper reported without going into details.

Skopje also handed its reply to the proposal two weeks ago.

Although details of the reply were not made public, local media have cited Macedonian diplomats saying that Skopje objected to the wide range of use of the country’s new name, allegedly Republic of Northern Macedonia. They say Skopje also opposed the lack of guarantees in the package that the language and identity of the people will continue to be known as Macedonian.

The situation was further complicated after Macedonia’s President Branko Crvenkovski last week recalled Skopje’s negotiator thus leaving the country without an official representative in the UN sponsored talks.

Earlier this week the US ambassador to Athens, Daniel Speckhard told media that Washington would support any solution that would be acceptable for both sides in the dispute. He said it would be a mistake if the negotiations stall due to the change in to the US administration.

In April, Athens blocked Skopje’s NATO accession due to the unresolved row. Greece argues that the name of Macedonia implies its territorial claims over Athens’s own northern province with the same name.

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