Thursday, June 18, 2009

Congressmen push US on Macedonia

Fifteen members of the US Congress have appealed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help break the deadlock in the dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter’s name so that the tiny Balkan state can join NATO, it was revealed yesterday.

In a joint letter the 15 senators, led by Democrat Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Republican Mark Souder of Indiana, urged Clinton to recognize FYROM as “a staunch ally and trusted partner” and to review the state’s “contribution to stability in the southern Balkans and its contribution to America’s foreign policy objectives in Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Middle East.”

The Congressmen also appear to press Clinton to take a stand on the name dispute. “We look forward to working with you... to reach a speedy and equitable resolution on issues such as the name dispute,” the letter said.

Greek diplomats said yesterday that they believed the FYROM lobby in the US had prompted the initiative in a bid to revive interest in stalled talks on the name issue.

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