The United Nations envoy on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz, who has been stymied for nearly 14 years to get Greece and its northern neighbor to agree on a name to replace the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has reached out to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos for assistance.
It was Samaras as foreign minister in a former New Democracy Conservative government who brought down the government by his vehement opposition to allowing the use of the name Macedonia.
Still, Samaras paid a surprise visit to the Foreign Ministry to meet Nimetz during the envoy’ talks with Avramopoulos. Nimetz expressed pleasure over his brief discussion with Samaras, and underlined the frankness of the Greek stance, AMNA reported. He said the prospect of intensification of the talks was being examined, adding that a Greek proposal for the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation “is on the table” and was a “substantial contribution”.
Asked about the chance of progress given political turmoil in Skopje, he said there was never an ideal conjuncture, and that is why “the time must be used productively.” He said he was optimistic, although he’s been saying that for years as well although there has not been any progress.
“Foreign Minister Avramopoulos stressed Greece’s support for Mr. Nimetz’s mandate and efforts to achieve progress on the name issue, briefing his collocutor in depth on the Greek proposal for the signing by the two sides of a memorandum of understanding aimed at imparting momentum to the negotiation process under the UN and setting out the framework and parameters for the solution,” the ministry announcement stated.
Avramopoulos “also reiterated Greece’s firm commitment and political will to achieve progress, based on the conviction that the achievement of a solution will lead to a deepening of Greek-FYROM bilateral relations, strengthen regional stability, and lend momentum to FYROM’s European and Euroatlantic perspective,” the announcement added, similar to most every other statement on the issue and generally conceded in diplomatic terms to mean nothing happened.
“During the meeting, the two sides carried out a review of the talks so far and looked at the prospects for the negotiation process based on the thoughts and ideas drawn up by Mr. Nimetz. In this context, Foreign Minister Avramopoulos expressed the Greek side’s readiness to participate actively and constructively in the next steps in the process,” the Ministry said.
(Source: AMNA, Capital)