Greek FM: Deal reached with FYROM ‘is in the national interest’

Greek FM: Deal reached with FYROM ‘is in the national interest’

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Tuesday that a settlement reached with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the name dispute was in Greece’s national interest.

“The agreement with FYROM was reached not because that country wants to join the European Union and NATO – which is something that we support – but because [reaching a deal] is in our own national interest,” Kotzias said in Berlin during a joint press briefing with his German counterpart Heiko Mass Tuesday.

He did not provide more details about the agreement.

Kotzias said that the foreign ministers of the two countries had wrapped up the main round of negotiations, adding that the final stage of talks would be led by the countries’ prime ministers after technical and legal issues have been clarified.

Meanwhile, the conservative New Democracy opposition on Tuesday warned the government against lifting a Greek veto on FYROM’s membership of NATO and the EU before a final agreement on the name issue.

“It is unthinkable that Greece would give up its bargaining chips,” ND spokeswoman Maria Spyraki said.

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