Athens, Skopje agree to keep talk­ing

For­eign min­is­ters meet with UN’s Nimetz in Vi­enna, may talk again later this week

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The for­eign min­is­ters of Greece and the For­mer Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FY­ROM) is­sued a joint state­ment yes­ter­day in which they vowed to con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions aimed at re­solv­ing the long­stand­ing name dis­pute be­tween the two coun­tries.

The state­ment was is­sued fol­low­ing talks in­volv­ing Greece’s Nikos Kotzias, his FY­ROM coun­ter­part Nikola Dim­itrov and United Na­tions me­di­a­tor Matthew Nimetz in Vi­enna. “Fol­low­ing a con­struc­tive meet­ing as part of the the ef­forts to find a mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able so­lu­tion to the name is­sue, the min­is­ters of for­eign affairs agreed to con­tinue their ef­forts un­der the aus­pices of the United Na­tions,” the joint state­ment said.

The Greek side would like talks with Skopje to con­tinue so that the two coun­tries can agree on the text of an agree­ment to re­solve their dis­pute.

Kotzias and Dim­itrov also met sep­a­rately in the Aus­trian cap­i­tal on Mon­day night, when they dis­cussed the mat­ter as well as the process that the two sides will fol­low in the com­ing weeks. The two min­is­ters are also ex­pected to meet on the side­lines of the in­for­mal meet­ing of Euro­pean Union for­eign min­is­ters which is due to take place in Sofia, Bul­garia, to­mor­row and Fri­day.

Athens and Skopje are broadly in agree­ment re­gard­ing the in­ten­tion to have a pro­posal re­gard­ing the name is­sue, as well as a num­ber of other re­lated mat­ters, ready at some point next month. In the mean­time, the Greek gov­ern­ment will keep a close eye on the de­vel­op­ments in FY­ROM, where there is a frag­ile po­lit­i­cal bal­ance.

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