Friday, April 04, 2008

Macedonia Responds to Greece

Re “Greece’s Flexibility on Macedonia” (letter from the Greek ambassador to Washington, New York Times on the Web, April 3):

The Republic of Macedonia is a small and proud country. After Greece’s veto of Macedonia’s invitation to join NATO, it is obvious that Greece’s intentions are aimed not at supporting permanent regional stability, but at damaging our neighbor relations, attacking our national identity and increasing political instability in the region.

It is unfortunate that the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest is overshadowed by such an irresponsible act by Greece. The Greek position seriously damages NATO’s plans for permanent peace and stability in the Balkans and erodes the foundations of NATO consensus principles.

The Republic of Macedonia has actively participated in and accepted the final proposal of Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations mediator for the name dispute. This proposal was instantly rebutted from the Greek side, an act that has thrown away years of Mr. Nimetz’s diplomatic work.

Macedonia will prevail, will continue to support NATO missions, and we look forward to the next opportunity to join the club, but now it is much more likely that Macedonians will never agree to change their country’s name just to please our neighbors.

Vladimir Lazarevik
Deputy Minister of Health
Skopje, Macedonia, April 3, 2008

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