Skopje Prepares for Fresh Round of Name Talks

Macedonian leaders are to hold consultations Monday ahead of tomorrow’s arrival of the UN mediator in the Athens-Skopje “name” row, US diplomat Matthew Nimetz.

Macedonian President Georgi Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki and Deputy Prime Minister Abdilaqim Ademi are to discuss their expectations for the upcoming round of talks.

“It all depends on whether Nimetz presents concrete ideas that could lead to a settlement of the name row or whether he is coming only for consultations. Our further steps will depend on that,” stated Gruevski.

“In Macedonia it is easier [to extend pressure], because Greece is a member of the EU and NATO and the country is bigger and more powerful,” he explained.

After Skopje Nimetz is scheduled to travel directly to Athens.

The two neighbours are locked in a longstanding spat over the use of the name Macedonia. Athens, an EU and NATO member, conditions Skopje’s entry into these organisations on a change to its neighbour’s official name, Republic of Macedonia. Greece argues that the name implies territorial claims against Greece’s own northern province, also called Macedonia.

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