Greece and FYROM Seek to Reconcile Name Dispute in Skopje

Greek FM Nikos Kotzias (R) with FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov (file photo).

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Nikola Dimitrov will meet on Saturday with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz as talks for a resolution to the name dispute drag on.

The meeting follows Friday’s gathering of Balkan and Central European ministers in Athens.

The foreign ministers of Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, and Serbia, all of them hoping to join the EU, were invited as observers along with colleagues from EU members Slovenia and Cyprus.

It is thought that Greece and FYROM need to find a new name for the Former Yugoslav Republic which will be used both at home and abroad, something which would require changes to its constitution.

The two sides are reportedly trying to buy more time for Skopje to be the location for the proposed change, despite opposition calls for it to be put to a public referendum.

It had been hoped earlier this year that FYROM would be accepted into NATO and the EU soon after the name dispute with Greece was settled. However, despite initial signs of progress, including meetings between the two states’ premiers, talks seem to have stagnated in recent months.