Name row, NATO accession ‘priorities’ for FYROM, Ahmeti says

Name row, NATO accession ‘priorities’ for FYROM, Ahmeti says

Two chief priorities of the new coalition government in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are the resolution of a long-standing dispute with Greece over the Balkan state’s official name and the country’s accession to NATO with the acronym FYROM, the head of the coalition’s junior partner, ethnic Albanian Ali Ahmeti, has told Kathimerini in an interview.

Resolving the name dispute is “one of the biggest priorities,” Ahmeti said. “We are neighbors and our common future is the European Union. Greece must be the torch-bearer that will lead us too into the EU,” he said, adding that the country could join NATO with the acronym FYROM before talks resume on resolving the name dispute.

“A step must be taken for things to start moving,” he said. “We must take into consideration geopolitical developments and work harder for the accession of the Western Balkans as that will benefit us all,” he added.

Ahmeti said his country had no maximalist intentions against Greece. “I want to state categorically that Skopje does not have any territorial demands against Greece and to reassure Athens that Greece will face no threat from its northern neighbor,” he said.

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