IBNA Special Report
Skopje, November 13, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
On Wednesday, a fresh round of talks for the solution of the name contest between Skopje and Athens was held in New York, but without any results. UN’s envoy, Mathew Nimetz, declared that there’s no progress or harmonization of the positioning of the sides on this issue.
“We know that this is a serious issue. This round couldn’t bring any results either, but we’re determined to continue the talks next month. We have talked about several ideas belonging to the past and as to what extent they can be successful”, declared Nimetz.
Macedonian diplomat, Vasko Naumovski, who is the new Skopje’s negotiator about the name contest, said that the Macedonian side is interested for a high level meeting between the two sides in order to find a compromise for the name.
“Talks must be intensified and there must be high level meetings, which may lead the sides to a solution”, declared Naumovski, who has recently entered office as the new ambassador of the country in Washington.
Messages for a solution have also arrived from the new EU commissioner for regional policies, Johannes Hahn, after a meeting in Brussels with the Macedonian Foreign Minister, Nikola Popovski.
“We have the UN’s incentive for the solution of this contest, but after 20 years without any results, perhaps it would be necessary to follow another approach”, says Hahn. According to him, this issue is also having an impact in the process of the integration of Western Balkan in the European Union and that the delays in this process, are not in the EU’s interest.
The latest negotiations have also been commented by the deputy prime minister for European Integration of FYROM, Fatmir Besimi.
“Every incentive and every meeting is a step forward in the solution of the name dispute. I believe that every step in confronting arguments is in the best interest of Macedonia and integration. This is the only way to harmonize our position and come to an acceptable agreement for both sides”, declared deputy prime minister Besimi.
But, on the other hand, leader of PDSH (Albanian Democratic Party), Menduh Thaci has a different approach, stressing that Albanians are interested in the solution of the name dispute, but at the same time, they also want the solution of pending issues in the country.
“We do not back the logic of changing the name and the country to enter NATO, because the Albanian problems, issues which are of an interest to us, are not solved. In all the talks that we’ve had with international representatives, we have said that the issue of the name dispute is a very important one, but alongside this, there must also be a solution of the Albanian issues”, says the leader of the largest Albanian opposition party in a meeting with members of this party in Struga.
Isolation and the blockade in the European Atlantic integration aspect has led to many citizens from the Macedonian community to accept every kind of solution, in order for the country to move forward in the economic and social plan.
“It’s not important if we’re called Upper Macedonia, Lower Macedonia, Northern or Southern. What’s important is for the name Macedonia to remain and this is important. We’re interested to move forward and we’re fed up with isolation, because the citizens are suffering the most”, says Goce M, a student from Skopje. A similar opinion is also shared by his fellow peers and other citizens of this country. /ibna/