22 June 2009 Representatives of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia met today in Geneva to continue discussions on the latter’s name, in a meeting initiated by the United Nations envoy dealing with the issue.
Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the talks, said the main purpose of today’s gathering was to prepare for his upcoming meetings in Skopje on 6 and 7 July and in Athens from 7 to 9 July.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Nimetz said that no new proposals on the “name issue” were made, but he pushed hard on some of the areas that have been blocking agreement.
“I feel that the time is right to push this issue forward as rapidly as we can and that is my purpose to go to the region to test the waters,” he said.
The Envoy had previously proposed several alternatives, but the Governments remained far apart on reaching a satisfactory compromise name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Mr. Nimetz stated that it is in the interest of the parties to move forward and resolve the issue so that they can work together to strengthen peace and security in the region.
The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between the two countries on the issue. It also obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to try to reach agreement.
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