No breakthroughs were achieved on Wednesday’s first meeting between the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy Matthew Nimetz and the representatives of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in New York, to discuss the decades-old name dispute, the U.S. diplomat said.
Nimetz is holding a new round of talks at the United Nations headquarters from Jan. 17-19, in an attempt to break the impasse of the past 27 years.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting with FYROM’s Ambassador to the United States, Vasko Naumovski, and Greece’s negotiator Adamantios Vassilakis, Nimetz said the two sides expressed a sincere desire to solve the issue and discussed the state of play.
“We talked about the state of the negotiations, we talked about the basic issues, the name issue, the various approaches to the solution.
Both sides reiterated their sincere desire to resolve this issue, to develop good relations, peace and security in the region.
We know this is a very difficult issue. There were no breakthroughs today but we resolved to continue the talks in the coming months,” he said.
The UN envoy met separately with Ambassadors Naumovski and Vassilakis separately on Tuesday for several hours, and then for nearly two hours this morning.
Asked if any progress has been achieved at all, he said there was no solution and that participants mainly explained the difficult points of any deal.
“If by progress you mean a breakthrough on the solution, I’ll say we did not achieve any such results.
We talked about some of the ideas of the past, to what extent they might work, to what extent they need more refinement, so I think that both sides have a better idea of where the difficulties are from the other side and hopefully they will go back to their governments and think seriously about these things,” he said.