The name dispute brings back debates in Skopje

The name dispute brings back debates in Skopje

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, April 10, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The name dispute continues to be at the center of debates in FYROM and it is seen as one of the factors which is blocking the advancement and integration of the country in Euro Atlantic structures.

A declaration issued by the prominent US diplomat and former ambassador to Skopje, Christopher Hill, has sparked debates within political circles and experts of political developments.

A few days ago, Hill declared that Skopje will never give up its constitutional name and that in the talks with Greece, a solution must be found which will give way to accession in the European Union without changing the constitutional name.

“I believe that the solution still rests on some kind of package for the name which would be acceptable for everyone, but which will preserve the constitutional name. This country will not change the constitutional name, but it must make several concessions to overcome it, meaning that the constitutional name must remain and that there must be a package which will allow EU accession. Can anyone solve this contest now? I think not. I know that Macedonians will not agree on changing the name. For them and for the United States of America the name is Republic of Macedonia. I also know that in this process, there must be something in it for the Greeks too, but at this moment, I cannot say what it must be”, declared Hill in a lecture delivered at John Hopkins University in Washington.

Ambassador Hill added that the name dispute is a serious issue, which is reflected by the fact that it’s been going on for 20 years. Hill was the first US ambassador to FYROM and he was actively involved in reaching an agreement between FYROM and Greece in 1995, which decided the temporary reference for the country, put an end to the Greek embargo and Greece was obliged not to prevent the accession of FYROM in international institutions.

Political analyst, Albert Musliu told IBNA that the stances of the former ambassador Hill in relation to the name dispute reflect the reality in FYROM. According to him, opposite positions do not help the process at all.

“His proposal is not only an assessment of the current situation, but also an encouragement of a diplomat who is a friend to Macedonia as to what direction the process must take. We have seen that there have been proposals for different options, such as the Northern Republic of Macedonia, which means that there have been debates. I believe that these proposals have also come from politicians, who have gradually started to prepare the population, especially the Macedonian one, about an eventual compromise”, declared the expert of political developments, Albert Musliu.

In his last hearing in front of MPs, Foreign Minister of FYROM, Nikola Poposki stopped on the last comments and debates in relation to the delays in the solution of the name dispute.

Poposki said that Greece has no honest approach in solving the name dispute.

“So far, it has been seen that many governments have been changed in Greece, but there has been no honest approach to solve the name dispute”, declared Foreign Minister Poposki, adding that the government in Skopje has shown a constructive approach in terms of finding a compromise and that it insists upon preserving the identity and national Macedonian language.

Albanian party in power BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) insists on finding a solution for the name dispute, in order to unblock the process of the integration of the country in Euro Atlantic structures and avoid a deterioration of cross ethnic relation and stability in the country.

The deep political crisis in Skopje has left the name dispute aside and so far, the UN seat in New York has not launched any concrete incentives or warnings for a fresh round of talks in order to find a solution.  Through its envoy, Mathew Nimetz, UNO is brokering negotiations in order to find a solution for the name dispute. /ibna/