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FM Kotzias tells FYROM Dimitrov, Greece will support NATO membership provided ‘Macedonia’ name dispute resolved

Greece remains insistent that the decades-old name dispute needs to be resolved before Athens backs membership of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to NATO and the European Union.

“We are open to membership of FYROM to international organizations provided the name dispute is resolved,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said during a joint press conference with his counterpart from Skopje, Nikola Dimitrov.

“I will do every effort for a right compromise on the name dispute and to boost our bilateral relations, ” Nikos Kotzias added.

Greece argues that that “Macedonia” in the name used by Skopje implies a territorial threat to its own region in northern Greece.

Nikola Dimitrov said his visit aims to secure support from Greece for its EU and NATO aspirations. “in this are together we fall and together we rise,” Dimitrov said adding “today is a very good start.”

He invited Kotzias to Skopje, a visit that will most likely take place in the last week of August.

It was the first visit of a representative of the new FYROM government in Greece.

Fearing a flare up of ethnic disputes in the area, FYROM is seeking a swift NATO membership.

Greece has been blocking any FYROM membership to international organizations ever since the name dispute erupted in the early 1990’s, after Yugoslavia fell apart.

Two days before Dimitrov’s visit to Athens, Financial Times reported FYROM was considering to abandon “Macedonia” name in order to join the NATO. FT was citing an interview with Dimitrov.

“The Republic of Macedonia may seek to change its name to appease Greek demands, in order to join Nato,” FT wrote.

FYROM Foreign Ministry made it clear though that it was not intending to change name but to “use the interim reference name” based on a n agreement of 1995.

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  1. What a waste of diplomatic effort is this idiotic discussion about the Republic of Macedonia’s name. If the Greek government wants to stay on a sinking ship (the European Union) good luck with that. Don’t people in Greece have enough problems for the government representatives to waste time and money on on this rubbish. If the leadership of FYROM have any brains at all they will not be foolish enough to join the EU.

    Maybe North Carolina should be expelled from the US since they might be a territorial “threat” to South Carolina using the same name. Sachsen and Niedersachsen in Germany should also resolve their problem..

    I only hope I don’t have to see Greece, after wasting 10-15 years on irrelevant topics like this, going back to the Drachma when the Euro becomes extinct. Even worse, after imposing 10-15 years of unjustified suffering on the people.

  2. It is not only the name Carl. It is territorial claims, forgery of historical facts, etc. Remember why the UK has abandoned the term “Great Britain”?
    By the way, if the Euro becomes extinct (and it will), what can Greece do but go to the drachma?

  3. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    Great Britain was named as such in French — Grande Bretagne — to distinguish it from Bretagne in France. It was a deal between Britain and France and is the sort of thing that Greece and FYR Macedonia should have done in 1991. Now, Britain is known as the UK — United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It has not abandoned anything — actually enlarged the scope of territory in the title.

  4. The more I see or hear foreigners telling the people of Hellas how to act or behave, the more I consider their opinion to be completely irrelevant.

    And really, if names are so unimportant, why did the ‘Great Powers’ go to such lengths to create for ‘Greece’ a new identity after independence?

  5. Ignorant people must understand that FYROM are Bulgarians and they speak Bulgarian, the Ancient Macedonians are Greeks they spoke Greek and always claimed to be Greeks! If Greece gives up the name Macedonia to FYROM then Greece will lose the culture and history of Macedonia that belongs to Greece for over 4000 years and in future may lose its territory!! There is only one Macedonia and it is in Greece!