EC: The name issue continues to affect relations between Macedonia and Greece

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is participating actively in regional cooperation and further developing its bilateral relations with its neighbours. However, the name issue continues to affect relations with Greece, reads the European Commission’s 2009 progress report on the country, published Wednesday.

The document stresses that relations with Greece continue to be close, notably in the form of trade, investment and tourism, but relations between the two governments were affected by the unresolved name issue.

The report further states the country is engaged in talks under the auspices of the UN on resolving it. The government initiated legal proceedings against Greece before the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding the bilateral interim accord of 1995.

The government named a motorway which forms part of trans-European transport corridor X after ‘Alexander of Macedon’. This was received as a provocation by Greece, which consequently suspended its financial contribution towards construction of the motorway. Actions and statements which could negatively impact on good neighbourly relations should be avoided.

Maintaining good neighbourly relations, including a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential, the report states further.

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