The United Nations’ mediator in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, sees some opportunities for the resumption of talks between Athens and Skopje.
The UN diplomat met in Brussels on Monday with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and referred afterwards to “possible solutions” to the long-standing dispute over Greece’s neighbor using the name “Macedonia.”
Nimetz added, though, that he does not expect anything significant to happen very soon. He said that he would make an effort to restart serious discussions about resolving the dispute.
The American diplomat visited Skopje recently but had to travel to Brussels to meet Kotzias as the latter was involved in the Cyprus peace talks at the time. The Greek minister said after their meeting that the two men would remain in touch about finding a way to “open the process of searching for a solution.” Kotzias said the talks in Brussels were “serious and interesting.”
Diplomatic sources said that further developments may follow in the fall. Kotzias is due to visit FYROM in August, following an invitation from his counterpart, Nikola Dimitrov, after his visit to Athens in June.
Kotzias said that the new government in Skopje had shown some good will but that this would now have to translate into more tangible moves. One of the developments Athens would like to see is the renaming of Skopje’s Alexander The Great Airport.