Slovenian Foreign Minister: Macedonia and Greece should reach deal in due time

Macedonian-Greek dispute was one of the topics of the talks between Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The two met in New York late on Monday and discussed primarily the situation in the Western Balkans.

Zbogar told UN chief that Slovenia recognized Macedonia by it’s constitutional name Republic of Macedonia.

“We would accept a negotiated settlement of name dispute, but we would like to see both countries reaching an agreement as soon as possible because we want November and December to become success months for Macedonia. We believe that Macedonia needs this step forward due to inner situation,” Slovenian foreign minister said.

Slovenia’s top diplomat expressed concern about the events rolling out in the Western Balkans.

“We have an idea how we should resolve each of the open issues and the aim of my visit to New York and Washington is to assess the stands and intentions of other interlocutors,” Zbogar said, adding that it is most important to Slovenia to see the EU taking a lead.

The European Union must show the other international factors a path to follow, Zbogar said, adding that the idea will be up for discussion when EU foreign ministers are slated to meet in late July.

Zbogar told Ki-moon that a number of Balkans-related events lie ahead.

“We all expect the Kosovo-related opinion of the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold elections in October. Macedonia awaits resolution of name row with Greece, NATO membership invitation and starting date of its EU accession talks,” Zbogar said.

Zbogar and Ki-moon met Monday on the sidelines of commemoration of the Srebrenica victims. The commemoration took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, on the occasion of 15th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre.

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