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President Duda promises Poland will strive to resolve conflicts in the Balkans

President Andrzej Duda has promised that Poland will strive to resolve conflicts in the Balkan region after talks in Athens with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Duda’s pledge came in response to Pavlopoulos’ statement that the European Union faced challenges regarding Macedonia and Cyprus.

Polish media write that Athens has disputed Macedonia’s [FYROM]claim to the name, arguing that it implied the country’s claim to Greece’s northeastern region, also called Macedonia. The row stands on Skopje’s path to European Union accession.

Cyprus has been at the centre of a conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots since 1974 and the island remains split into the Republic of Cyprus on the south and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Duda said Poland would strive to resolve conflicts mentioned by the Greek president, adding that security was a major global challenge.

Duda also said that the European Union’s doors should remain open to the Balkan states, adding that the European Union could continue to grow, despite Brexit, by keeping its doors open to new members.

The presidents also decorated each other with top state orders.

Duda received the Grand Cross of the Greek Order of the Redeemer, the oldest and highest distinction, while Pavlopoulos received the Order of the White Eagle, the oldest and highest Polish state distinction.

Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, will spend three days in Greece. The trip is the first official Polish presidential visit to Greece in 19 years. –

PS if official Poland uses the name ‘Macedonia’ instead of ‘FYROM’ I do not think it will ever manage to solve any problem in the area, the Balkans and elsewhere.

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