The United Nations’ special representative for resolving the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) says he discerns the political will on both sides to resolve the festering name dispute.
That resolution is the precondition for Greece to approve FYROM’s membership application to both the EU and Nato.
Nimetz told a news conference after two-hour talks in Brussels with both Greece’s representative, retired Ambassador Adamantios Vasilakis, and FYROM’s representative, Ambassador Vasko Naumovsky, that he did not table any proposals, but rather attempted to facilitate an understanding between the two sides that could help them resolve the dispute.
Nimetz said that the climate in talks was “positive” and “constructive” and that both sides agreed to more meetings, which he said could come in January and February.
“The atmosphere is much better. There was a good dialogue,” Nimetz said, noting that each party listened attentively to the other’s positions.
The UN envoy says that the government of Zoran Zaev has made the name issue a priority of the utmost importance, and that Skopje maintains that it is determined to break the impasse with Greece.
Equally, he noted that statements by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government demonstrate the political will on the Greek side to resolve the issue.
Notably, Nimetz said that the problem will not be resolved by magic, that political will and good diplomacy will be required, and that time is not on the parties’ side.