Venizelos says FYROM must make move on name dispute

It is up to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to make the “next steps” needed to solve its name dispute with Greece, said Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos after meeting his counterpart from the neighboring country, Nikola Poposki, in New York late on Friday.

Sources said that during the meeting Venizelos impressed upon Poposki that Skopje should show it is ready to compromise and not expect any initiatives from Greece or other European Union members. The Greek foreign minister said Athens is keen for the new round of talks between the two sides, mediated by Matthew Nimetz of the United Nations, to begin as soon as possible.

Speaking to FYROM media, Poposki described Greece as having “little interest” in solving the name dispute at the moment.

The two men also discussed energy issues, with Poposki asking Venizelos to confirm that Greece is willing to agree to connect the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will carry Azeri natural gas to Italy, with FYROM’s energy network.

Venizelos said Athens is willing to do so and talks on this matter can progress regardless of where talks on the name issue stand.

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