NEWS

FYROM name dispute ‘can and should be resolved,’ says UN mediator

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Diplomacy

The United Nations’ special mediator in negotiations aimed at resolving a longstanding dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter's official name, Matthew Nimetz, said talks will intensify in the next few months.

Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday where UN-brokered talks between representatives of the countries got under way on Monday following a three-year stalemate, Nimetz spoke of a “good atmosphere” and said that plans are being made for additional meetings at UN headquarters in New York in January, February and March.

Nimetz had earlier met with Greece’s envoy, Adamantios Vassilakis, and FYROM’s Vasko Naumovski. He said that “a real push for some resolution in the next months” is being made and that the longstanding dispute “can and should be resolved.”

Both Athens and Skopje have made the talks “a high priority,” Nimetz said, particularly the government in FYROM, which “seems determined to try break the deadlock in its relationship with Greece and move forward with its European Union and NATO [induction] program.”

However, the mediator added that he doubts whether “a magical new name” will appear after so many years to break the deadlock, stressing that a solution requires “hard work, political will and good diplomacy.”

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