FYROM’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev confirmed today that Skopje has received Athens’ draft proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the naming and related issues, and has already sent its counter-proposals to Athens.
Zaev said that the exchange of documents constitute the groundwork that will facilitate the next round of talks, under the auspices of the UN and with mediator Matthew Nimetz, in Vienna on 30 March.
FYROM’s Foreign Minister, Nikola Dimitrov, confirmed that Skopje delivered its proposals to the Greek foreign ministry this afternoon.
Dimitrov conceded that differences remain between the two sides, but said that he is optimistic that an agreement on the new name of his country is feasible, an observation that suggests that Skopje aims to shelve elements of a settlement that Athens considers central, such as a constitutional revision to eradicate clauses that reflect irredentist aspirations as regards Greece.
“We are convinced that if the aim is to find a viable and dignified solution to transcend differences on the naming issue, whichwill draw a clear distinction between our country of Macedonia and the Greek region of Macedonia, then it is possible to achieve such a solution,” Dimitrov stated.
FYROM’s foreign minister said that he is eager to receive Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Skopje.
Kotzias is due to arrive in Skopje for talks on Thursday, 22 March.