United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz presented new proposals to representatives from Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the latest effort to resolve a 25-year-old dispute over the latter nation’s name.
But the latest round of negotiations in New York City got off to a rocky start even though Nimetz hailed the beginning of the negotiations as an optimistic start.
FYROM’s chief negotiator Vasko Naumovski told a television station that the new round of talks didn’t present any grounds for progress.
“We have a name, it is the Republic of Macedonia… no one can deny the existence of a ‘Macedonian’ nation and language,” he told a reporter from Sitel TV in Skopje.
Naumovski went on to say that Nimetz’s proposal was “far from dignified.”
But Nimetz told reporters the opposite after the meeting, stating that he is “very hopeful that this process is moving in a positive direction.”
“I really believe that we have leadership in both Athens and Skopje that genuinely want a solution,” he said. “They don’t just say they want a solution. I think they believe it’s in the national interest of both countries to solve this problem.”
Nimitz didn’t share the actual name proposals that were set forth but he reiterated his personal position that it wasn’t “realistic” to expect the new name of FYROM not to have the word “Macedonia” in some form in its name.
“I myself don’t think it’s realistic to expect the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia not to have Macedonia in some form in its name,” Nimitz said.
Although the proposal with the names on the table were not revealed to the press, a news website in Skopje claims to have received leaked information from negotiations and released the list of names that were brought forth.
According to the website MKD, Nimitz proposed the following names:
Republika Nova Makedonija (Republic of New Macedonia); Republika Severna Makedonija (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Republika Gorna Makedonija (Republic of Upper Macedonia); Republika Vardarska Makedonija (Republic of Vardar Macedonia) and Republika Makedonija (Skopje) (Republic of Macedonia [Skopje]).
It is important to reiterate that the leaked list of names has not been confirmed by any diplomatic source.
The names, however, do coincide with Nimitz’s position that the new name of FYROM should maintain a form of the word “Macedonia.”
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