12 Oct 2009
The new Ambassador of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in Australia announced last week that the impending visit of his country’s Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, will take place at the latest by the end of October.
Mr Stojanovski, presented his credentials last week to Governor General Quentin Bryce.
During this ceremony they discussed the upcoming visit, according to FYROM’s news agency, MIA. “The Governor [General] expressed hope that the impending meetings will contribute to the improvement of bilateral cooperation and will be accompanied by the signing of the bilateral Social Security Agreement,” Mr Stojanovski is quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Greek-Australian organisations have already sent a letter to Kevin Rudd in light of the Gruevski visit.
The letter urges the Australian government not to change its policy towards the name dispute between Greece and FYROM. “[…] I plead you to comply with the official standing of the Australian government if and when a bilateral agreement between FYROM and Australia is affected,” the Executive Director of the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC), Paul Kyritsis wrote in his letter.
Australia officially recognises Greece’s neighbouring country with its United Nations (UN) sanctioned name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece and FYROM are currently in negotiations under the auspices of the UN to resolve the long standing name dispute.
Greece is refusing to accept the name “Republic of Macedonia” which the neighbouring country has adopted in its constitution.
“In closing, I shall again elucidate that acknowledging this nation under its provisional name (FYROM) until a mutually-accepted resolution is wrought will not only prevent further ambiguity of a highly convoluted affair, but stand as a gesture of both respect and good will towards the Greek government and its Hellenic Diaspora by pacifying their budding unrest,” Mr Kyritsis stated in the letter.
When contacted by Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE) the Executive Director of AMAC said that so far they have not received a response to this letter that was sent last month.
He confirmed, however, that a response had been received by the Director of the Southern Europe Section in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sean Singh.
Mr Singh was responding on behalf of the minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith after AMAC had sent him a letter complaining about the use of the name “Republic of Macedonia” from it’s diplomatic mission in Australia.
Mr Singh reiterates Australia’s official position but points out that FYROM is using this name in all its Embassies and Consulates overseas.
“The Embassy [of FYROM] in Australia was established in 2003 on the understanding that both sides would use their preferred terminology to designate the state,” Mr Singh wrote. “We use the UN provisional name an interim measure pending resolution of the issue between the Skopje and Athens,” he added.
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