NEWS

Name talks due to resume today

United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz is due to meet late tonight with Greek Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis in New York in the latest round of negotiations over the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Vassilakis is expected to inform Nimetz of Greece’s assessment of the most recent set of proposals that the UN negotiator submitted to the two countries. Nimetz visited Skopje and Athens in July to submit his latest proposals on a mutually acceptable name. Greece and FYROM must give UN officials their responses and suggestions by Thursday. After his meeting with Vassilakis, Nimetz is due to hold talks with FYROM’s representative, Zoran Jolevski, although a precise day and time for the meeting has not been set. 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. In a speech in Komotini, northeastern Greece, on Saturday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis advised Skopje to adopt a more conciliatory approach. «The history of centuries cannot be wiped out or ignored,» he said. «I repeat that as far as our national issues are concerned, we have put down some clear red lines. «Any of our neighbors that indulge in nationalistic outbursts, provocative behavior and stubbornness that has no basis in history are making a mistake.» Once Nimetz has the feedback from the Greek and FYROM diplomats, he is due to formulate another set of ideas, which will be presented to the two countries.