New York – Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on Friday continued his official visit to the United States by meeting here with the UN chief’s special representative for the FYROM issue, Matthew Nimitz, as the former reiterated Athens’ volition to accelerate procedures towards finding a mutually acceptable solution to the “name issue” still separating Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
According to diplomatic sources, Molyviatis stressed to the UN official that the Greek government is “looking to the future” and that a mutually acceptable solution will significantly improve bilateral relations as well as strengthen regional stability. Furthermore, the Greek foreign minister also reiterated that resolution of the issue would facilitate Skopje’s Euro-Atlantic prospects.
Finally, he expressed a hope that the FYROM government will emulate Athens and display a “productive and European stance”, instead of remaining entangled in a “besieged intransigence”.
Although Athens and Skopje have achieved remarkable progress in bilateral relations, especially in trade and investments, since signing a UN-mediated “interim agreement” nearly 10 years ago, the “name issue” continues to block the full normalisation of ties.
Athens strenuously opposes FYROM’s use of the name “Macedonia”, citing historical and political reasons. Moreover, Greece’s largest province, which shares borders with FYROM, is called Macedonia, the same geographical region that more-or-less corresponds with the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.