A day after visiting the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) where he called for a swift solution to the lingering name dispute with Greece, United Nations’ special mediator Matthew Nimetz arrives in Athens on Wednesday for talks at 1p.m. with Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Comments made in Skopje suggest that Nimetz would like to scale back the scope of negotiations between the two Balkan neighbors that had recently extended into issues of national identity and language.
“Identity is something I’m not negotiating. Peoples have identities and the UN does not negotiate identities,” Nimetz said.
However, also under growing pressure from EU governments, Nimetz stressed the need for progress. “It is really important to try to resolve issues between countries rather than let them fester on and on,” Nimetz said, although admitting he had only “some ideas” to contribute on how to resolve the dispute.