Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding Ambassador Reeker’s comments

Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton September 9, 2010

State Department

United States of America

Dear Madame Secretary,

We, the representatives of the Pan Macedonian Association USA, one of the largest Greek-American organizations are writing this letter to you because we, along with the rest of the Greek community in the United States, are extremely appalled by recent comments made by US Ambassador to Skopje Mr. Reeker in an interview regarding the position of the United States on the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM). In a TV interview (Alpha TV Skopje) the Ambassador stated that the USA government does not provide change of the constitutional name, essentially supporting a double name solution.

According to the official US website of the US Embassy in Skopje which has posted extracts from the interview promoting it as the “US position” Mr. Reeker stated “We do not believe that the solution must involve the change of the constitutional name or the Macedonian Constitution. This is your Constitution. This is your holy text. What is needed is that both sides, Greece and Macedonia, agree to an international reference that will be used in place of FYROM”.

Furthermore, Ambassador Reeker calls on the public of Skopje to embrace the US position: “What we are saying is to look at the real question. And this is not a question about the identity or the language you speak. It is about finding an arrangement that will allow you to maintain your Constitution and your country, and strengthen your state within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance . . .”.

We consider Ambassador Reeker’s comments during the interview with Alpha TV Skopje to be anti-Hellenic and clearly pro-FYROM. As such they are very detrimental to the negotiating process for resolving the name issue between the two countries. We also note that this is not the first time that we see this anti-Hellenic attitude radiating from Ambassador Reeker’s office in Skopje. Just a short while ago the US Department of State’s April 2010 issue of State Magazine, published an article titled “Skopje, Ancient Macedonia builds modern democracy” the contents of which were highly offensive and provocative to Hellenism. A disturbing sentence from the article fallaciously stated that “Today major portions of historical Macedonia lie within neighboring countries.” With such unfortunate comments and deeds, the US Department of State has legitimized Greece’s concerns in the Balkans after the fall of Yugoslavia, and it is championing the irredentist claims of Skopje.

Ambassador Reeker has demonstrated a profound lack of knowledge of the historical truth regarding Macedonia. For the perspective of the truth we would like to refer the Department and Ambassador Reeker to a letter written to President Obama by 367 renowned Classicists, Historians, Archeologists, and Researchers from the world over, deploring the ridiculous irredentist claims and antiquization campaign of historical revisionism from Skopje’s ultranationalist government. This letter can be found with supporting documentation at the following Web site: http://macedonia-evidence.org/.

Ambassador Reeker’s comment that “…this is your constitution, this is your holy text…” is also particularly disturbing. Perhaps the Ambassador feels that The FYROM constitution has a place next to Old and New Testaments, the Talmud, the Koran and other Holy texts! We are sure that Ambassador Reeker knows well that unlike the Holy texts which have existed for centuries, the constitution of The FYROM is relatively new (about 20 years old) and is the word of the people that can be (and has been) changed at the will of the people.

The very concept of a “Macedonian” ethnic identity and language is a direct aggression against the territorial integrity of Greece and the theft of the Macedonian identity (Hellenic in cultural and historical terms) by the Slavs of The FYROM. A “Macedonian Nation” by its very name claims everything that is Macedonian. We consider the inclusion of the name “Macedonia” as part of the final name of The FYROM humiliating to Hellenism and we feel that in order to promote good neighborly relations and a successful Euro-Atlantic integration of The FYROM, the word Macedonia should not identify the country, the nation or the language of the inhabitants of the FYROM.

We feel that their nationality and language should be officially recognized as the nationality or language of the inhabitants of the “Republic of…” The sizable Albanian minority as well as the Roma, Serbs, Bulgarians, Turks and Greeks living in The FYROM clearly proved in the census of 2006 that they do not identify with the so-called “Macedonian” identity. We therefore question which one of those identities and language is Ambassador Reeker referring to?

In order for the destructive concept of Macedonism to expire, it is imperative that the constitutional name and constitution of The FYROM change. The United States albeit a great and powerful country, needs allies, friends and customers in the difficult times lying ahead. It is time for the United States to act as an ally and friend to Greece and turn the page reversing the destructive decision of The FYROM recognition as the Republic of “Macedonia”. Ambassador Edward Stettinius’ comments in the Circular Airgram (868.014 / 26 Dec. 1944) that “This Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation’, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonian “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece,” were correct in the 1940s and they are correct now. The current State Department recognizes as “Macedonians” the children of the people that Stettinius in the 40’s clearly stated that they are not Macedonians. We fail to understand this paradox.


Dr. Papadopoulos, Supreme President Demitris Chatzis, Supreme Secretary

Cc: Ambassador Philip Reeker

USA Congress

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