Greek, FYROM Leaders Prepare for Crunch Summit



The Greek and FYROM prime ministers are meeting on Wednesday afternoon at Davos on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the latest round of negotiations on the name dispute.

A meeting between Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev is scheduled for 2 p.m. local time (1300GMT).

Tsipras has described the latest round of negotiations at the UN headquarters as a “historic opportunity” to resolve the decades-old name dispute between the two countries.

A source close to Tsipras was quoted by Greek newspaper Kathimerini as saying said the scheduled meeting would be “the moment of truth” when it will be clear whether Zaev’s expressed interest in reaching a compromise is genuine.

The Greek government seeks a solution that adheres to the decisions taken at the NATO summit in 2008, when it was agreed that Greece will accept a composite name including the term ‘Macedonia’ and that Skopje will not be allowed to join the alliance before a solution.

The meeting comes three days after a huge rally in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where hundreds of thousands demanded that Greece should not compromise nor accept the term ‘Macedonia’ be included in FYROM’s name.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that the rally demonstrated the anguish of many Greeks on the issue, but he claimed that it will not play any part in the ongoing negotiations.

Almost seven out of ten Greeks oppose the use of term ‘Macedonia’ by the former Yugoslav republic according to a recent poll.