Foreign Minister of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, said that the use of term Macedonia is not an exclusive privilege of Greece.
In an interview with Skopje’s television station TV21, Dimitrov said that “term Macedonia does not belong exclusively to Greece or Macedonia [FYROM] because it relates to a big geographic area. In this sense the real answer to irredentism is the principle of non exclusivity.”
Claiming that term Macedonia should be “used on equal terms by both countries,” Dimitrov is quoted by Greek media saying further “for Greece there should be a clear distinction between the country [FYROM] and the Greek region Macedonia, for us it is important that there are no doubts with regards to matters of identity.”
“We must find a descent way to explain this and process it,” the foreign minister said.
He noted that “the two sides have the right to use the term, the name and the components in different frameworks. The principle of non-exclusivity or non-monopoly is the lack of the right to have exclusive use of the term Macedonia as Macedonia.”
Dimitrov’s comments come as the two sides prepare to start exploratory talks on the name dispute under the auspices of the United Nations with the mediation of Special Envoy Mattheu Niemitz, in New York on January 19th.
PS I have the suspicion FYROM’s FM was just a tiny little step before asking Greece to change the name of its region Macedonia but did not do that in order to avoid torpedoing the negotiation talks. Blame diplomacy and Skopje’s ambition to finally join the EU and the NATO.