Just ten days before the next round of UN-sponsored talks on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in New York, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is holding talks with visiting FYROM Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani in Athens today, to set out the final preparations before UN envoy Matthew Nimetz meets with the parties on 19 January.
The talks are taking place amidst heightened Nato ad US pressures, which aim at expediting FYROM’s admission to Nato, which Greece has blocked pending a name settlement.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to visit Skopje on 18 July.
But for the first time in years, both Athens and Skopje appear optimistic for a settlement based on a compound name, which would attach a marker, geographic or otherwise (eg New or Nova Macedonia), to the name Macedonia.
The prime minister of FYROM, Zoran Zaev, said recently that he believes that a settlement can be reached by July. Nato will hold its summit in Brussels this year, on 11-12 July.