Kotzias says Greece ‘daring, serious’ ahead of FYROM talks


Ahead of the latest United Nations-mediated effort to resolve a longstanding dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the Balkan state's name, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told a cabinet meeting on Monday that Greece's position in the negotiation was daring and serious, Kathimerini understands.

Greece's stance will be the same as the one held by the government in talks in 2007 and 2008, namely in favor of a composite name with a geographic determinant, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, Kotzias stressed in his speech to fellow cabinet members that the leftist-led government "inherited" problems from previous administrationσ, noting that foreign policy in the past has been reactive rather than proactive.

The previous logic was of the "I don't take initiatives and yet expect that at some point I'll get everything I want" type, Kotzias was said to have told the cabinet.

He added that the current government is daring and serious and committed to solving the problem.

Initial reservations expressed by the leader of the junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos, who is also defense minister, appear to have been largely overcome.

Greek and FYROM diplomats are to meet in New York next week for talks with UN special mediator Matthew Nimetz.