FM meets UN envoy on FYROM name issue

New York (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) — Foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas reiterated the Greek government’s positions on resolving the FYROM name issue during a meeting in New York on Monday night with the UN’s special representative on the issue Matthew Nimetz, who said in reply to press questions later that “now is not the time for final proposals”.

Droutsas told reporters that he expressed Greece’s appreciation for the UN process and Nimetz’s role, stressing that Greece fully backs the process.

He said he also reiterated Greece’s well known, clear, consistent, credible and honest position on the FYROM name issue: First of all, that the Greek government has the political will for a solution and, second, that the framework for this solution — the solution that Greece can accept — is “the well-known red line of a geographical qualifier for every use, erga omnes”.

Droutsas further said that he also repeated to Nimetz “Greece’s invitation to the Skopje leadership to come to the UN negotiating table in the same constructive manner and spirit”.

Reiterating Greece’s sincere and well-known political will, Droutsas remarked “if only the other side’s will were as sincere” but “unfortunately, to date, there has been no move in that direction by the Skopje side”.

“I think it is telling that Mr. Gruevski (FYROM prime minister) has so far opted not to be present here at the UN General Assembly, where there was potential for a direct meeting with the Greek prime minister,” Droutsas added.

Nimetz told reporters that the Greek foreign minister presented his government’s “positions and actions” and that they exchanged views on the name issue.

To another question, the UN envoy stressed that the dialogue between the Greek and FYROM prime ministers and relations between the two countries are at a different level now that what they were a few years ago, but stressed that “now is not the time for final proposals”.

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