PM: Name issue must be resolved in mutually acceptable way before FYROM joins NATO, EU


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday that the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) must be resolved before the tiny Balkan neighbor can join the European Union and NATO.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic ahead of a trilateral summit of Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian leaders in Thessaloniki, Tsipras said that there are “decisions of the European Council and the NATO summit that say that the name issue must be resolved first, in a mutually acceptable way.”

He also said that the foreign ministers of both countries are in regular contact, while Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will talk with United Nations envoy Matthew Nimitz, who is mediating the talks between Greece and FYROM over the name issue.

The issue of security and stability in the Western Balkans is to be the focal point of the trilateral while Tsipras, Vucic and Boyko Borisov of Bulgaria are also expected to discuss Thessaloniki train links with Burgas and Belgrade, as well as energy cooperation between the three countries.