White House sees ‘historic opportunity’ to settle FYROM name dispute

White House sees ‘historic opportunity’ to settle FYROM name dispute

US Vice President Mike Pence has encouraged Alexis Tsipras to continue efforts to reach a solution on the name issue with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during a telephone conversation with the Greek prime minister, adding that Athens and Skopje had a “historic opportunity” to settle the decades-old dispute.

A statement issued by the White House said Pence and Tsipras on Saturday “agreed that the parties have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue and that time is of the essence.”

“The Vice President encouraged Prime Minister Tsipras to continue working with Prime Minister Zaev on a mutually-acceptable agreement. Resolution of this issue would promote stability and peace in the region,” it said.

Meanwhile, Greek party leaders rejected “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” as a candidate name for FYROM, while opposition is also expected to arise from within ruling SYRIZA.

In telephone conversations with Tsipras, the leaders of New Democracy, Movement For Change, To Potami and communist KKE all rejected the proposal, which was reportedly made by Zaev to Tsipras during talks last week in Sofia.

However, the Greek government considers this proposal a basis for discussion that could lead to a viable solution.

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