Saturday, March 01, 2008

'No Timelines' In Macedonia Dispute

Macedonia's President Branko Crvenkovski says that there is no timeline for solving "the name dispute" with Greece.

After meeting the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Crvenkovski dismissed that claims that Skopje is under pressure to quickly reach a solution to the dispute.

"Negotiations on the name issue started by taking into consideration two things - firstly, no imposed solution, and secondly there are no timelines," Crvenkovski said.

Referring to threats from Greece that it might veto Macedonia's bid to join NATO at the alliance's Bucharest summit in April if no solution is found, Solana said he "doesn’t like vetos."

"I hope very much that solution is found during negotiations in New York," Solana added.

Solana also confirmed that regional issues were discussed at the meeting with the Macedonian President.

Crvenkovski suggested that Brussels can count on Skopje’s support for the EU's new law and order mission which is due to take over the United Nations administration in Kosovo.

He also added the EU had a role to play in helping Macedonia and Kosovo demarcate their shared border.

"We support the Ahtisaari plan among other things since it had a precise solution for the demarcation of our borders with Kosovo," Crvenkovski said, referring to the blueprint for Kosovo's 'supervised independence' devised by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari. The plan is set the become the basis of Kosovo's new constitution.

"As a partner for solving this issue we don’t look only to Pristina but also to the EU which is present in Kosovo," he concluded.

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