Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Macedonia to take care of its minority in neighboring countries

Macedonia is entitled to take care of its minority in the neighboring countries, said the newly appointed Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski in an interview with Skopje's daily Dnevnik.

"Macedonia can lobby and even encourage the neighboring countries, without causing conflict or upset, to comply with European criteria regarding ethnic minority rights. This will be a policy of this government," Miloshoski told Dnevnik daily.

As regards name dispute with Greece, Miloshoski reiterated that the dispute is just a problem between Athens and Skopje, adding that Macedonia could not give up on its constitutional name.

"We don't want to cause waves. That's not our politics... However, I would like to say something: How could a man give up his own shadow. Macedonia could not quit its own name," he added.

Miloshoski made a suggestion to Athens to be in footsteps of Washington and to see the US motives for recognition of Macedonia's constitutional name.

As regards Kosovo issue, Miloshoski said three things are important as far as Macedonia is concerned: the final status should reflect the will of majority citizens in Kosovo; the final settlement should be agreed by the three parties - Pristina, Belgrade and the international community; and finally, the final status should boost not undermine the stability in the region.

Miloshoski sees the demarcation of Macedonia's northern border with Kosovo as part of the third condition mentioned hereabove, however, he raised doubts that Macedonia could wrap up border demarcation prior to status settlement.

"We would be pleased if demarcation of Macedonia's northern border becomes part of the final status package," Macedonian foreign minister said.

Miloshoski said the new government will also take care of Macedonian Diaspora in Europe and offshore countries, noting that the Diaspora will be entitled to vote in the next elections in Macedonia.

"The first thing is to enable the Diaspora to cast their votes at elections..." Miloshoski told Dnevnik daily.

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