Talks on name dis­pute move to Vi­enna

Kotzias, Dim­itrov meet in Aus­tria be­fore an­other round with Nimetz to­day

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece’s For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias, his coun­ter­part from the Former Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FYROM), Nikola Dim­itrov, and United Na­tions en­voy Matthew Nimetz are due to meet in Vi­enna to­day as talks aimed at re­solv­ing the long­stand­ing name dis­pute gather pace.

Kotzias and Dim­itrov met in the Aus­trian cap­i­tal last night fol­low­ing a sur­prise an­nounce­ment by the two coun­tries and the UN re­gard­ing the lat­est phase of the ne­go­ti­a­tions. The talks may con­tinue in Sofia, Bul­garia, on Thurs­day and Fri­day. With­out giv­ing any fur­ther de­tails, the UN said that the Vi­enna meet­ing is aimed at reach­ing a mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able so­lu­tion on the name is­sue.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras told SYRIZA MPs in Athens that his gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to be fo­cused on reach­ing a com­pro­mise with Skopje. He de­nied that his ad­min­is­tra­tion has snubbed the re­cent protests in Greece against the neigh­bor­ing coun­try be­ing al­lowed to use the term “Mace­do­nia” in a name. “A week ago, we had a large rally in Athens,” he said. “Some peo­ple said that the gov­ern­ment is ig­nor­ing the demon­stra­tions. We are not ig­nor­ing any­one. But I won­der what the mes­sage from this rally was.”

He noted that Greece has ac­cepted its neigh­bor us­ing “Mace­do­nia” for many years, in­clud­ing in the name Athens has ac­cepted for more than two decades as part of an in­terim agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries.

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