Skopje PM Dismisses More ‘Macedonia’ Talks with Greek Premier



FYROM premier Zoran Zaev (L) with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (file photo).

Talks between the Greek and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) foreign ministers over the naming issue have failed to produce the results necessary to justify a meeting between the countries’ prime ministers, Skopje PM Zoran Zaev said on Monday.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov met in Ohrid last week to discuss the name of the former Yugoslav country.

According to FYROM state news agency MIA, Zaev estimated that last week’s contacts in Ohrid did not show any progress, therefore there are no grounds to step up the debate to the prime ministerial level.

Early last week, Zaev said that if he were to meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, that would mean there had been progress in talks and the two sides would be closer to a solution.

Zaev said his country would not accept a name for all uses inside the country and abroad (erga omnes) nor any changes to its constitution.

However, the Greek foreign minister advised Skopje to show more “seriousness” in dealing with the negotiations.

Following a EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, Kotzias told reporters: “It is necessary for FYROM’s leaders to understand that negotiations cannot be held through interviews and constant public statements.

“They must show seriousness and accept a method that would lead us to a resolution.”