Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Gov't adamant over 'name issue' with FYROM

The "name issue" separating Athens and Skopje re-emerged on the "political radar" this week following a series of mostly inflexible statements by FYROM's new leadership, and expected reactions by Greece's foreign ministry.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis on Wednesday was the latest top Greek official to comment on the long-standing difference, again clarifying that a solution to the 16-year-old dispute absolutely does not revolve around the name that Greece will use in bilateral relations - a leitmotif of previous FYROM governments repeatedly cited by the Skopje over the past few days.

"If the stated goal was to decide how Greece will refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) then UN Security Council resolutions would not be necessary, nor would negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations secretary general be necessary," Valinakis said when asked about comments by FYROM PM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who heads a new coalition government in Skopje that was installed on Monday.

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