18 November 2008 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has instituted proceedings against Greece at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, alleging that Greece blocked its application to join NATO in violation of an agreement between the two countries.
The ICJ said in a press statement released yesterday that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was seeking “to ensure that it is allowed to exercise its rights as an independent State acting in accordance with international law, including the right to pursue membership of relevant international organizations.”
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia contends that Greece effectively vetoed its application to join NATO, by trying to make membership conditional on a resolution of the long-running dispute between the neighbouring European countries over its official name.
It accuses Greece of “a flagrant violation of its obligations under Article 11” of the Interim Accord signed by the parties in September 1995. The Interim Accord, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between the two countries on the issue and obliges them to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to try to reach agreement.
The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the talks between the two countries, Matthew Nimetz, presented a new set of ideas to Athens and Skopje during the latest round of talks in New York in October.
The ICJ, which is based in The Hague, is also known as the World Court and is the principal judicial organ of the UN.
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