Nimetz sees FYROM deal in sight

The United Nations’ special mediator between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name of the Balkan country told Sunday’s Kathimerini that Skopje’s bid to join NATO could be the vital catalyst to solve the dispute. Following a turbulent few days for the «Macedonia» issue, during which Canada recognized FYROM as the «Republic of Macedonia» and Athens complained about the use of this name at the UN by a FYROM official, UN envoy Matthew Nimetz believes that a solution could be in sight. «NATO and the EU are very important priorities for Skopje and, in my opinion, very important for the whole area,» he said. «The name issue is very important for Greece. «If the name is solved, it would help the progress of important developments, such as the incorporation of the whole region into the institutions of the EU and NATO.» FYROM is hoping to be given the green light to join NATO at the organization’s summit next April but Greece has threatened to veto its neighbor’s accession if the name dispute is not resolved by a mutually acceptable solution. Nimetz believes that the time line created by the NATO summit is a «very important» factor in negotiations. He also expects the US to have a significant input in the matter. «The USA can play a useful role, as can other European states, but the US has a lot of credibility,» said Nimetz.