“I pledge that in the coming future I will seek with patriotic responsibility a mutually acceptable solution” stated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after his meetings on Saturday with the political leaders in order to brief them on the developments on the FYROM name issue.
Tsipras said that “it is the Greek government and my own, responsibility to close as many possible fronts and to build a new dynamic image”
Referring to his discussions with Albania, he said that he briefed the leaders that the way has paved for the full normalisation and upgrading of the bilateral relations. “We are ready for a strategic agreement with Albania that will resolve the crucial differences and will lead to the promotion of Albania’s negotiations for its accession to EU” said Tsipras adding that “A broad political consensus appears to be formed on this issue, which I welcome” said the Greek prime minister.
On the extremely crucial and difficult issue that refers to our differences with FYROM, the prime minister said that he briefed the political leaders in detail and explained them that “an opportunity window has opened as FYROM’s new political leadership shows willingness to negotiate for a mutually acceptable solution to a problem that undermined our relations in the last 25 years”.
He said that “FYROM’s political leadership has withdrawn, at some point, the irredentist rhetoric of the previous years” and brought as example FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s move to rename Skopje’s international airport and Thessaloniki-Skopje motorway from Alexander the Great to road of Peace.
He, however, clarified that “the symbolic gestures do not mean that the irredentist problem has been resolved as our neighbours’ political will should take the form of clear and specific engagements in the context of the deliberations conducted at bilateral level as well as in the framework of UN mediation”.
We have made progress in the last period but a long way remains to be covered to reach a mutually acceptable solution of a compound name erga omnes, said Tsipras and explained “everybody must understand that a non solution will be against Greece’s interest and against the stability in the wider region”.
He also recommended “realism, prudence, modesty and spirit of understanding if we want to serve the national interest”.
Referring to his meetings with the political leaders, he said that with most of them he had a sincere and responsible discussion that could lead to political convergence and broader consensus. “Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the leader of the main opposition (New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis) said Tsipras adding that “I believe that his stance is an indication of weakness to state clearly his political position”.
Concluding, he underlined “On my part I pledge that in the coming future I will seek with patriotic responsibility a mutually acceptable solution”
Watch Greek PM’s full speech below: