Serbia acted “foolishly” and dealt Greece a “slap in the face” by recognizing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) under the name “Republic of Macedonia,” the country’s foreign minister has said.
Speaking in an interview with Beta news agency on Monday, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that Belgrade was wrong to support FYROM’s demand that it be called “Republic of Macedonia” – which Greece objects to on the grounds that it implies territorial claims over the northern Greek region of Macedonia – as the neighboring country then went on to recognize Kosovo after it claimed independence from Serbia in 2008.
“All of Europe and the world uses the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but we went and gave our brothers the Greeks a slap in the face and now expect them not to recognize Kosovo,” Dacic said. “We recognized ‘Macedonia,’ insulting the Greeks, and now they [Skopje] always vote in favor of Kosovo. I have to say that we acted foolishly, to use an undiplomatic term.”
Dacic went on to add that Belgrade still intends to use “Republic of Macedonia” in bilateral relations with Skopje, but the internationally recognized FYROM in any other context.