Thursday, July 31, 2008

US diplomat prods FYROM

US Ambassador in Skopje Gillian Milovanovic yesterday called on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to “carefully study” proposals being put forward by a United Nations mediator in the Macedonia name dispute and “embrace a golden opportunity” for a settlement.

Milovanovic said Skopje should strive to reach an agreement with Athens before a European Union summit in December. She said the proposals of UN mediator Matthew Nimetz “safeguard the interests of (FYROM) and could form the basis for further negotiations with Greece.”

Milovanovic’s comments came a day after FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon broaching the issue of a supposed Macedonian minority in Greece. Gruevski’s letter, which followed two letters from Skopje to the European Commission on the same subject, was rebuffed by Greece’s alternate government spokesman. Evangelos Antonaros said it was “an unsuccessful attempt to distract the attention of the international community” from the name talks.

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