FYROM leader calls off visit

The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Branko Crvenkovski, yesterday pulled out of a summit of regional leaders next week in Athens after Greek authorities refused to grant landing permission to his government plane which bears the name Macedonian Airlines. «(Greek authorities) offered other means of arrival for the president, which are unacceptable,» Crvenkovski’s office said. Greece’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Giorgos Kou-moutsakos, said the move should have come as no surprise. «Greece has a specific policy, which it has been following for many years now, concerning the regulation of landing permission for aircraft from the neighboring country.» Asked by reporters when talks on the Macedonia name dispute were likely to resume, Koumoutsakos said there had been no new «move» by United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz. «Greece is awaiting the relaunch of dialogue with a reliable interlocutor,» he added.