NEWS

UN envoy puts five FYROM name options on table

Athens yesterday accepted as «a good basis for negotiations» five different composite names for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) proposed by the United Nations special mediator on the Macedonia name dispute during talks in Athens. Sources late yesterday revealed to Kathimerini four of the five proposed names: Democratic Republic of Macedonia, Constitutional Republic of Macedonia, Independent Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Upper Macedonia. The same sources revealed that UN mediator Matthew Nimetz said FYROM could keep its «constitutional» name for use in domestic and bilateral relations while using the composite name in all its dealings with international organizations and on its citizens’ passports. During talks in Athens yesterday with Nimetz and FYROM diplomat Nikola Dimitrov, Greece’s representative Adamantios Vassilakis reiterated Athens’s preference for a solution involving a single name rather than a dual option. However Greek diplomats are said to have accepted the five names put on the table by Nimetz as «a good basis for negotiations.» Dimitrov was reportedly unable to say when his government would be able to respond to the proposals, a stance that is said to have irritated Nimetz. The Greek Foreign Ministry did not react to the proposals yesterday but sources indicated that one or two of Nimetz’s proposals might be acceptable. Acknowledging that his proposal would not overcome all the objections of either Athens or Skopje, Nimetz asked for a response from each government within two weeks so a final solution can be reached before a planned NATO summit in April when the alliance will decide whether to admit FYROM. «It is a compromise solution which does not satisfy either side 100 percent,» Nimetz said. «But I believe that overall it is a fair, decent reconciliatory solution that fulfills the expectations of both countries and can lead to a settlement,» he added. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who hosted the meeting between Nimetz and the two diplomats, agreed with the UN envoy regarding the need to move fast. «Now is the time for a clear viable, practical and lasting solution,» she said.