Greek walkout in name row

Greek diplomats walked out of a conference in Washington on the non-proliferation of weapons on Wednesday in protest at the US hosts referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which had also sent a delegation to the event, as the Republic of Macedonia. Greece’s ambassador to Washington, Alexandros Mallias, and his aides left the conference with the Cyprus delegation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said the action «confirmed the consistency and credibility of Greece’s policy as regards the name of the neighboring country.» Athens insists FYROM’s name must geographically distinguish FYROM from Greece’s region of Macedonia. Responding to the incident, the US State Department said the US organizers were simply using the name under which Washington recognizes the Balkan state.