Athens-Skopje talks to pick up momentum


The meeting next week between Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations special mediator on the dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and negotiators from Greece and FYROM, is seen as part of the effort to expedite talks geared toward a solution to the problem that has divided the two countries for more than two decades.

Nimetz will meet with Adamantios Vasilakis and Vasko Naumovski separately for talks on November 20 and 21, FYROM’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced on Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov Tuesday in Brussels.

According to a post on Twitter Tuesday by FYROM’s Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, Athens and Skopje agreed to resume contacts.

Reports Tuesday said that it is highly likely Osmani will visit Athens next week for talks. Analysts say they expect meetings between both sides to intensify in early 2018.

In a recent press conference, Kotzias said that the first half of 2018 will be an ideal time for talks between the two sides.

Hopes for a solution have been rekindled by the victory of the Socialist party of FYROM’s prime minister in last month’s local elections in the neighboring country. On Monday, Zaev said that a new effort should be launched to resolve the name dispute.