Washington: Greece, FYROM Can Decide a Name Themselves

Wes Mitchell (left) and FYROM premier Zoran Zaev

The United States will support a solution to the name dispute which is reached by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Wes Mitchell, has said.

The U.S. official made the statement at a news conference with FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev during a visit to Skopje.

Asked whether the U.S. would take part in negotiations, Mitchell said that both countries are the ones to find a solution to the ongoing dispute.

“The only durable solution will be a joint solution,” Mitchell said. “We acknowledged that the only solution that will last is the one that both parties would work out for themselves.”

He added that Skopje “has taken tremendous steps forward to engage in the negotiations with its Greek interlocutors and there is [a] tremendous opportunity, greater than we have ever had,” Mitchell told reporters.

Mitchell further said that the U.S. backs the Balkan country’s drive towards NATO accession.

Zaev said that his country and Greece had already started the final phase of the talks on solving the name dispute. He also praised the work of United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz and expressed optimism that the problem will be resolved soon.