New formula aims overcome difficulty over ethnic identity of the citizens of FYROM
New York.- UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz is sending invitations to the interlocutors of Greece and FYROM for a new a decisive round of talks, most likely to be held on October 6 in Geneva. The United States kept pushing both sides on the sidelines of the UNʼS General Assembly, with Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried holding a series of meetings with officials of both countries.
Washington wants both sides to show that they are willing to compromise, a US official said. A major obstacle for a solution is the bad relationship in Skopje between the President and the Prime Minister. According to reports Foreign Minister Milososki left New York on Friday for his capital, after a strong argument with strong argument with President Branko Crvenkovski.
Asked by the “Greek News”, before her meeting with her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyiannis, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Washington is trying to help resolve the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
“We want to see the matter solved as soon as possible,” she said. “We are trying to help find a solution that will be accepted by both sides.”
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz speaking after his meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Wednesday on the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s (FYROM) name, said that he heard “a few comments” on the ideas that he had presented to the negotiators and stressed that “there is greater understanding for each position.”
Nimetz pointed out that “we do not deal with national identities or with historical identities. We are dealing with the name of the country and in a negotiation we do not deal with the national or with other personal identities of peoples.”
The envoy further said that “there are still some issues that are important and there has been no solution for them. We shall work on them. One thing for which I was impressed was the determination of the Greek government to struggle to solve the issue in a possible time framework. Of course, nothing can be solved if both sides do not find an agreement that will cover both, but the feeling that I am receiving today from the Greek side is that the Greek government is ready to do something that will give a solution and which will be satisfactory.”
Asked whether there is “suitable ground for progress,” Nimetz said that “I think that there is serious consideration in both governments over the ideas that I have presented on their ideas and I think that we are at a very important stage in the talks. I am not disappointed.”
Asked further whether he is cooperating with other governments as well over the issue, he said “I am speaking with other governments of UN member-states. I have spoken with the government of the United States. I do not share my ideas with them. I never give anybody the ideas that I present to the two sides. A number of countries and the government of the United States are very interested in this issue and I think that it is very important for the governments in Europe, the United States and elsewhere as well.”
Lastly, as regards the next step, he said “I am in contact with the interlocutors.”
Meanwhile, FYROM President Branko Crvenkovski told the UN General Assembly that his countryʼs dispute with Greece was “an obvious absurdity” but that Skopje was willing to compromise on the name issue as long as it is not “humiliated.”
“The ʽRepublic of Macedoniaʼ is ready to accept a fair compromise and reasonable solution that is not going to deny our national and cultural identity,” he told world leaders.
“We should not allow ourselves to be humiliated and to experience internal destabilization due to ill com promise.”