DONT’ FORGET TO SIGN THE PETITION
New York.- (GreekewsOnline)
Three major Greek American organization forwarded a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, in advance to his trip to Greece, asking him to order a review of the present policy on the FYROM by the State Department, with specific emphasis given on whether the continued recognition of a “Macedonia” promotes stability in the region and makes a solution with Greece more likely.
In April Pan-Macedonian Association of America has started a campaign, calling on Greek Americans and Hellenes around the World to sign a petition for President Obama, to reverse Bush Administration’s decision to recognize FYROM as “Republic of Macedonia”. The campaign still is still goinh on.
The letter is signed by Dimitri Chatzis, Chairman of the Petition Committee, Pan-Macedonian Association of America, Endy D. Zemenides, Executive Director of HALC (Hellenic American Leadership Council) and Philip Christopher, President of PSEKA,
November 12, 2016
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
In advance of your historic trip to Greece, we are writing regarding U.S. policy on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM).
Your Greek-American constituents are deeply appreciative of your long record of support on this issue. We recall that as Senator you were an original lead co-sponsors of Senate Resolution 300 in 2007, which urged that the FYROM work with Greece to reach a mutually-acceptable official name for that country. We also appreciate that as President, you have refused to support NATO membership for the FYROM since it has failed to reach a mutually-acceptable solution with Greece.
We agree with your support of the UN-led negotiations and your belief that there can and should be an agreement between Skopje and Athens that leads to greater stability in the Balkans. Present U.S. policy on this issue, however, is unintentionally promoting instability in the Balkans.
In 2004, the Bush Administration rewarded Skopje’s support for the Iraq War by recognizing the country as “Macedonia” despite the ongoing UN-led negotiations. State Department officials at the time argued that the policy would lead to stability in the Balkans and make a solution with Greece more likely.
The exact opposite has occurred. Encouraged by what it has interpreted as unqualified U.S. support, Skopje has become more intransigent in its negotiations with Greece and more provocative in making claims on Greek history. Skopje has also made the refugee crisis in the region worse by closing its border with Greece. Finally, Skopje is mired in political and corruption scandals that risk further instability Greece is a frontline state for the Western alliance, and your visit underscores this strategic significance. Continuing the Bush Administration’s ill-conceived and improperly motivated decision to recognize the FYROM as “Macedonia” increases the risk of political instability in Greece at a time when Greece needs political consensus to confront economic and refugee crises.
Earlier this year, the Greek-American community launched a petition supported by Hellenes worldwide requesting that you reverse the recognition of a “Macedonia”. The tens of thousands of signatures on this petition and recent polling in Greece both demonstrate that this issue remains an important one for the Greek electorate and for the Greek Diaspora worldwide.
Your visit can indeed promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. Therefore, we request that you order a review of the present policy on the FYROM by your State Department, with specific emphasis given on whether the continued recognition of a “Macedonia” promotes stability in the region and makes a solution with Greece more likely.
We wish you a successful trip to Greece,
Chairman, Petition Committee
Pan-Macedonian Association of America
Endy D. Zemenides
The Hellenic American Leadership Council