NEWS

Deal on FYROM name is receding, says government official

TAGS: Diplomacy, Politics

The likelihood of a deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the latter's name moved further away as the neighboring country is “not ready” to respond to the proposals discussed between the foreign ministers of the two countries in Brussels, a Greek government official said on Friday.

"It seems FYROM's side is not yet ready to respond to everything that was agreed on in Brussels between the two foreign ministers. Therefore the possibility of an agreement in the coming days seems to be receding,” the official said, commenting on the ongoing negotiations.

“It is also likely that the possibility of a telephone conversation between the two prime ministers is also receding,” he added.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that he and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov had done everything in their power to pave the way for a breakthrough in the talks.

He said technical teams were handling the legal details of a deal and the finished document would be reviewed by the respective Prime Ministers, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev.

According to information on the talks, the name Republic of Northern Macedonia (Severna Makedonija) appeared to be the likeliest choice to which Athens and Skopje would agree on.

Another two names, of the original five proposals made by United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz, remain on the table, sources said. But Northern Macedonia had been expected to prevail.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was expected to speak with his counterpart, Zoran Zaev, by telephone soon and the two men were expected to meet before a European Union leaders’ summit on June 28.

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