Athens, Skopje to work on improving trust

A Greek Foreign Ministry official will travel to Skopje in the next few days to discuss confidence-building measures with the government in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias revealed on Thursday.

Kotzias informed journalists that Foreign Ministry political director Petros Mavroidis would be making the trip after he met with FYROM’s Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi in Athens on Thursday. Kotzias said he may reveal more about the measures when he visits Skopje later this month as part of a tour of the Western Balkans.

“I would be getting ahead of myself – as I would like to do – if I mentioned measures, because we have to agree on them first,” said the Greek diplomat. “As I always say, when one is negotiating, it isn’t good to talk about it.”

Kotzias praised Besimi, a member of FYROM’s Albanian community, as a “young, talented politician.” “We always tell our European partners that realistic and reasonable voices like Mr Besimi’s must be listened to with care in Europe,” added the minister.

Besimi said that he sees an opportunity for Greece and FYROM to resolve their differences and welcomed Kotzias’s decision to visit Skopje. “Neighbors have no other choice but to be good friends,” said the visiting envoy.