Greece prepares Nimetz response

UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is expected to welcome diplomats from Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to New York in the coming week as the latest round of negotiations in the name dispute between the two countries enters the next phase. Nimetz visited Skopje and Athens in July to submit his latest proposals on a mutually acceptable name and, within the time frame agreed by both sides, Greece and FYROM must give UN officials their responses and suggestions by August 20. Sources in Athens said that Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakos will be ready to meet with Nimetz next week. It is expected that FYROM’s representative, Zoran Jolevski, will also travel to New York, barring any last-minute surprises. During his most recent visit, Nimetz is thought to have proposed the name «Republic of Northern Macedonia» as a solution to the dispute. Sources said that Athens, in principle, is pleased with this suggestion. There have also been indications that Skopje may accept it as a compromise. However, any agreement will depend on the use of the name. Athens wants FYROM to use it in its dealings with all countries, whereas Skopje is likely to insist that all the countries that have recognized it by its constitutional name of «Republic of Macedonia» should continue to call it that. Last week, Andorra became the 125th country to call the neighboring country «Macedonia.» Sources said that Nimetz appeared upbeat following his visit to FYROM last month. However, since then the country’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has expressed his desire for a dual name (one to be used in its relations with Greece and another with all other countries). Once Nimetz has the comments of the Greek and FYROM diplomats, he is due to formulate another set of ideas, which will be presented to the two countries.