NEWS

Skopje wants NATO veto overturned

Skopje hopes to reverse a 2008 decision that denied the former Yugoslav republic membership of the transatlantic alliance when NATO countries meet in Chicago next month, President Gjorge Ivanov said this weekend.

In an interview with Sunday?s Kathimerini the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said that his country?s bid must be re-examined in light of a decision by the International Court of Justice at The Hague last December saying that Greece was wrong to veto a previous application at the Bucharest summit in 2008.

In doing so, the court said, Athens breached a provisional 1995 deal under which it had agreed not to block membership of the country in international organizations if it used the name FYROM. Greece objects to the use of the name ?Macedonia,? saying it implies territorial claims. ?It is very clear what should be done at the Chicago summit,? Ivanov said. ?Our position is that the ruling cannot be ignored by anyone; neither by Greece, nor by the Alliance,? he said.

Expressing his disappointment that Greek President Karolos Papoulias has turned down four invitations for talks, Ivanov suggested that if ongoing negotiations -- held under the auspices of United Nations special envoy Matthew Nimetz -- fail to deliver then Skopje may have to turn to the Security Council.

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