UN mediator Matthew Nimetz said Thursday he had not heard any sources in Athens “denying the identity of the Macedonian people”.
He was speaking in Skopje after a meeting with FYROM Foreign Minister Nikolay Dimitrov who had said: “No one can deprive ourselves of the right to be Macedonians and speak the Macedonian language as part of all Slavic languages.”
However, Nimetz said he had not “heard anything yet from the Greek side, denying the identity of the Macedonian people”.
Nimetz is in the region for talks with senior officials in Skopje and Athens. Earlier this week he said it was “time for decisions” on the long-running name dispute which has seen Skopje barred from EU and NATO membership.
A large rally is expected in Athens on Sunday, to oppose use of the term ‘Macedonia’ in any future name for Greece’s northern neighbor.