NEWS

Cyprus’s Anastasiades says FYROM name not the real issue

TAGS: Diplomacy, Politics, Cyprus

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday said that what the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is called is not as important as ensuring that its constitution does to not suggest irredentist aims.

“If there was a way to overcome the state's constitutional provisions that speak of irredentism, then the name doesn’t matter,” Anastasiades said in an interview with Radio Proto in reference to UN-brokered talks between Athens and Skopje on FYROM’s name. “I wouldn’t have a problem if they wanted to call themselves Northern Greece.”

“If Greece is able, through investments, to exert influence and control a Lilliputian state, a neighbor, then I wonder why the row about the name. Does a name matter?” the Cypriot president said.

Anastasiades recommended that during its negotiations with FYROM, Greece should focus on the elimination of articles in the country’s constitution that may be perceived as “even a remote threat to Greece.”

“Why,” he asked, “doesn’t Greece doesn’t take advantage of its position to secure a close partner? Because it may be called Northern Macedonia? Are we seriously afraid whether Alexander the Great was Greek or not? We are allowing ourselves to enter into a debate about a fact.”

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