Macedonia says UN name proposal final

Macedonia sees the latest UN proposal for a solution to the name dispute with Greece as final, the country's FM says.

Source: BIRN

"After 15 years of talks we think that this proposal is the final one,” Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski told reporters after holding talks with political leaders on Friday.

However he refused to say whether the government had accepted the proposal.

It was offered to both Greece and Macedonia earlier this week by the United Nations mediator in the dispute, Matthew Nimetz but neither side has commented on what was in the proposal.

The plan is widely seen as a last ditch attempt before next week's NATO Summit in Bucharest where Greece is threatening to block Skopje's bid to join the alliance because of the unresolved 'name' row.

The upcoming summit has seen a flurry of diplomatic activity to end the dispute once and for all.

“The process for building our position regarding this final proposal will continue in the coming days,” Miloshoski said, adding the country's Parliament will discuss the proposal on Monday. It will be the first time the Parliament has discussed a proposed solution to the 17-year long row.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said that unless a national referendum is called on the matter, the issue will be voted on in Parliament.

Media speculate that Nimetz has offered the proposed name of “Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)” which will be used exclusively among international institutions, while the more than 120 countries that have already recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name would be advised to use the new name but will have no obligation to do so.

The proposal also foresees that neither side will have exclusive use of the adjective “Macedonian.”

Greek media report that Athens has already rejected the plan and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis has canceled a meeting between the two countries' Premiers during Saturday's European Union ministerial summit in Slovenia.

Reports in Athens suggested there will be a meeting under UN auspices on Monday in New York where Nimetz will table a new solution.

Athens objects to Skopje’s use of its constitutional name “Republic of Macedonia” arguing it might lead Skopje to make territorial claims over Greece's own northern province of Macedonia.


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