Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Congressman David Price Refutes Inaccurate Reports in FYROM Press

Washington, D.C.- CEH leaders announced that Congressman David Price (D-NC), in a letter to Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandros Mallias, said that the recent quotes credited to him in the FYROM press “mischaracterized my remarks” and were “mistaken on key points.” He also reminded the Ambassador of the Resolution he authored and introduced in the U.S. Congress last year (H. Con. Res. 306) which encouraged FYROM and Greece to continue UN negotiations to determine “a mutually acceptable official name for FYROM.”

Inaccurate reports regarding Congressman Price stated positions that directly contradict positions he holds which are laid out in this legislation he introduced in the U.S. Congress. According to a story in the FYROM press, Congressman Price, during his recent visit to FYROM, in a meeting with members of the FYROM parliament, stated that UN brokered negotiations should be concluded by accepting FYROM’s constitutional name, and that the people of FYROM “are proud descendents of Alexander the Great.” Price was in FYROM as the Ranking Democrat on the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which works to build institutional capacities and empower members of legislatures in developing democracies around the world.

Price explained that someone else in the meeting referred to Alexander the Great as part of FYROM’s historical legacy. In addition, when asked by a reporter about his position on FYROM’s name, “I stated that I was aware that in this case United Nations-led negotiations were underway and that I hoped the negotiations would be brought to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion.”

He clarified that his introduction of H. Con. Res. 306, “came in response to the decision by Secretary of State Colin Powell to unilaterally recognize FYROM as the `Republic of Macedonia’ without consulting Congress and without awaiting the conclusion of negotiations. As it happened, this decision was announced without prior notice while I was visiting Greece.”

Congressman Price’s resolution states, among other things, that: “the decision by the United States Government to recognize the FYROM as the Republic of Macedonia has diminished the position of Greece vis-a-vis the FYROM in bilateral negotiations to determine a mutually acceptable official name for the country and has encouraged efforts to bypass talks on this issue;”

“Greece has objected to the adoption and use of the name Republic of Macedonia by such country, maintaining that the name Macedonia refers to a regional province in northern Greece and that its use by such country implies historical and territorial claims on Greek Macedonian territory;”

“Greece is the largest and most stable financial investor in the FYROM, having invested almost $1,000,000,000 while creating over 9,000 new job positions;” and “Greece is one of FYROM's major trading partners with 12 percent of total volume of trade and is the second major trading partner within the European Union;”

“a mutually acceptable solution will strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation between Greece and the FYROM and will maintain and further enhance stability in the region;”

“urges FYROM and Greece to honor the agreement that they signed in 1995 under which both countries agreed to determine a mutually acceptable official name for the FYROM;”

“calls upon the Government of the United States to exercise its influence in encouraging the FYROM to fully abide by the 1995 interim agreement with Greece and to redouble its efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution.”

No comments: