US Hails Macedonian President Elect

resizer96The United States President, Barack Obama, sent a letter of congratulations to Macedonian President elect, Georgi Ivanov, Macedonia’s ruling party VMRO DPMNE quoted Thursday.

In the letter, Obama expressed thanks to the country for its participation in the peacekeeping missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I am looking forward with great pleasure to our mutual cooperation for Macedonia’s entrance in NATO and for moving forward on the road to European integration,” says the letter of the U.S. President, as quoted by the local media.

Last April, despite the insistence of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush on Macedonia’s NATO accession, the country stood out due to a Greek blockade over the unresolved name dispute.

Athens argues that Macedonia should first change its formal name if it is to be allowed EU and NATO entry, because this name implicates territorial claims toward Greece’s northern territory called identically.

Previously, on Wednesday the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, reiterated that the United States support the efforts in finding a compromise to settle the differences between the two arguing nations.

“Washington strongly supports efforts in finding a mutually acceptable solution” Clinton said at the hearing of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Georgi Ivanov won the March presidential poll mainly due to the support of the ruling ‘right from centre’ party, VMRO DPMNE, that is being accused by some observers, both home and abroad, of hard line attitude that does not lend itself toward an Athens–Skopje compromise.

So far Ivanov, who steps into office on May 12, has been secretive about his stance on this crucial issue and offered only vague explanations that he would endorse a “reasonable compromise” with Greece that would not hurt his country’s interests and dignity.

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