Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Macedonia formally protests to Greece over troop scandal

Macedonian Foreign Ministry will send a formal protest note to Greek Foreign Ministry over the conduct of some Greek soldiers, Makfax correspondent quotes the Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski.

During today's visit to Ohrid, Miloshoski said the protest note will be handed over to Greek Ambassador to Macedonia Theodora Grosomandiu.

The protest note is related to an incident that took place in October 2005, with video footage showing a parade of Greek special forces chanting insulting slogans against Macedonia, Turkey and Albania.

On Wednesday, reliable sources told Makfax news agency that the government held a closed-door session on Tuesday to discuss the matter, but no decision on protest note was made during the session. The officials attending the sessions shared the view that the footage downloaded from internet should be verified beforehand.

"We waited for verification of the footage in question. It was verified and today we will hand over a protest note over such conduct of some soldiers of the Greek Army," Miloshoski said.

He added that Greek ambassador will be told that incidents of this type are not in the spirit of good neighborly relations. Macedonia will also ask for clarification of the event.

Miloshoski voiced hope that protest note would turn fruitful and make sure that such incidents, which spark unnecessary tension in the public, be not repeated in the future, because "the two countries have a lot to share".

He added that the incident took place a few years ago and it will not affect the bilateral relations. Nonetheless, it is a matter of the society in Greece and its military institutions. Greece, a member of NATO and EU should take such matters into serious consideration.

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