Greece-Macedonia ‘Name’ Meeting Announced

The Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Nikola Poposki, are to meet next Thursday in New York in an attempt to invigorate stalled ‘name’ talks.The two ministers will meet at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where Greece is expected to urge more active UN involvement in the talks held under its auspices.

“I am glad that the Greek side has answered the initiative for more meetings. Greece is asking for greater involvement of the UN. This means that our messages are bearing fruit”, Minister Poposki said, confirming the meeting.

The two are also expected to meet with the UN mediator in the name talks, the US diplomat Matthew Nimetz.

Greece insists that use of the term “Macedonia” implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name.

Citing the unresolved issue, Greece has repeatedly blocked Macedonia’s progress towards both EU and NATO membership.

UN-brokered talks to overcome the long standing dispute have failed to result in a solution and there have been no substantial talks for over a year, partly owing to the complicated political situation in Greece.

Speaking recently before the Greek parliament, Avramopoulos announced that he will ask the UN to boost its level of engagement in the talks.

This corresponds with the July statement of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who on a visit to Skopje vowed to engage in contacting both countries in the hope of speeding up the stalled talks.

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