Skopje to Athens: The solution of the name dispute alongside European integration

Skopje to Athens: The solution of the name dispute alongside European integration

Skopje, February 20, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The head of the Greek diplomacy, Evangelos Venizelos met today (20.02) during his official visit to Skopje the president of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, George Ivanov.

The meeting was held without the presence of the media and there was no press conference after it.

The president’s office issued a press statement according to which, president Ivanov has wished the best of luck to Greece in its interim EU presidency in the first half of 2014.

Ivanov declared that although enlargement is not an EU priority, the country must still be committed in policies of enlargement and to meet the criteria needed for accession and to be able to be issued with a date for the launch of negotiations with the EU.

President Ivanov said that the country is marking constant progress in the aspect of reforms, meeting all the recommendations of the European Commission.

But, according to him, the main obstacle in the European integration is the name dispute.

“We demand a parallel process of negotiations for the solution of the name dispute and negotiations for accession. If this practice is applied, it will not only benefit the country, but Greece and the entire region too”, said Ivanov, adding that the solution to this issue is possible by complying with the framework of negotiations led by UNO. He underlined the need of talks and fruitful cooperation between the two countries, in order to boost up cooperation in all domains of mutual interest. /ibna/