US pushes for name resolution

The USA’s assistant secretary of state, Daniel Fried, yesterday expressed Washington’s disappointment at the fact the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was not invited to join NATO at the alliance’s summit earlier this month and pushed for a speedy resolution to the Macedonia name dispute. Addressing a sub-committee of the US House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee, Fried said Washington backs United Nations efforts to mediate in the dispute and that the commitment by Athens and Skopje to reach a compromise was «encouraging.» Asked whether the name New Macedonia could be the basis for a settlement, Fried avoided answering directly, referring again to the name most recently proposed by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz – Republic of Macedonia-Skopje – which was rejected by Athens. Meanwhile in Skopje, FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said the name issue was the «only problem» stopping his country from joining NATO and the European Union and said efforts would continue to reach a settlement «that does not cross (FYROM’s) red line.»

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