The outgoing NATO chief Jaap De Hoop Scheffer is not optimistic about a quick settlement to the name row between Skopje and Athens.
“I must add, openly and frankly, that after a visit I paid to Skopje last week, my optimism has not grown, in listening to the authorities in Skopje. And I do hope that also they will realise that, for a solution for the name issue, they have to show flexibility,” he said Thursday at a press conference in Athens, as reported by Makfax.
Last year Athens vetoed Skopje’s certain invitation to join NATO, saying that a solution to Macedonia’s name must first be found.
UN sponsored talks have so far been in vain, and the talks are currently on hold due to elections in Macedonia in March and elections in Greece announced for June.
After meeting Scheffer, the Greek Foreign Minister said Greece would be happy to see its northern neighbor in NATO but only after the name issue is solved.