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  • Nimetz shuttles to Skopje to push FYROM name settlement

    The UN's special representative will outline Athens' proposals for a comprehensive accord, as well as alternatives to some of Nimetz's ideas, which Athens views as problematic.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    The UN Special Representative on the FYROM naming issue, Matthew Nimetz will be in Skopje today, where he will discuss the proposals of the Greek government concerning a comprehensive bilateral accord, and discuss the ideas that the UN mediator himself has tabled, with FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

    Meanwhile, according to ERT Greek state television, the FYROM foreign ministry has expressed consternation over Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ 29 January interview with the state broadcaster, because the announcement of his side’s final positions “may reduce the room for negotiations”.

    “On the eve of the visit of UN Special Representative Matthew Nimetz, with whose mediation the negotiating process regarding the name issue is being conducted, we stress that the public announcement of final positions may reduce the room for negotiations,” FYROM state television quoted Dimitrov as saying.

    Nimetz receptive to Greek proposals

    In Athens yesterday, Nimetz noted that there is a window of opportunity for a solution that Greece should exploit.

    He said the Greek government is “very sincere and energised” in pursuing a solution, and that Skopje, too, is determined.

    “I think that waiting, slowing things down, doesn’t make any sense. Here it doesn’t make any sense, and in the northern neighbour it doesn’t make any sense,” Reuters quoted Nimetz as saying.

    The UN mediator refused to provide any details of the proposals he has tabled at a news conference with journalists yesterday, after his meeting with Kotzias in Athens.

    For his part, Kotzias said he detailed Athens’ proposal for a comprehensive accord and that he outlined with Nimetz alternatives to some of the UN mediator’s proposals that Greece views as problematic.

    Kotzias said that he has no timetable for the negotiations, which he noted could continue after the July Nato summit, where Skopje hopes to accede to the alliance.

    Greece has set a comprehensive settlement as a precondition for its approval of FYROM’s entry into the Alliance, in which a unanimous decision is required.

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