FYROM is ready for next round

The leaders of the four main political parties in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) met yesterday to finalize Skopje’s position on the name proposals put forward by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz before a final meeting with Greek diplomats takes place later this or next week. FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki emerged from the meeting to tell reporters that a position had been agreed upon but that he could not talk about it publicly as all sides have agreed to keep the negotiations confidential. «In any event, I believe that we have strong arguments, well-thought-out positions for and against, and arguments that could open up a new discussion in this process,» said Milososki, suggesting that FYROM is unlikely to agree on Greece’s view of the Nimetz proposals. He proposed five composite names to replace the acronym FYROM. The name favored by Athens – as it gives a geographical determination and clearly distinguishes FYROM from the Greek region of Macedonia – is the Republic of Upper Macedonia. Another of Nimetz’s proposals – New Republic of Macedonia – would be subject to debate if it were modified to Republic of New Macedonia, sources have told Kathimerini. Greece has already made its official position known to the UN mediator. Speaking to Sunday’s Kathimerini, Nimetz insisted he was trying to be fair to both sides. «I try to be objective and even-handed and I care a lot about both countries,» he said. «My plan is to set a specific date for the next round of talks after I receive official word from both sides that they have completed their review and are ready with a detailed response and have confirmed convenient dates.»