7 July 2009 The United Nations envoy tasked with mediating talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the dispute over the latter’s name is in the region for discussions with representatives of both countries.
Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the talks, held talks over the past two days in Skopje with senior officials from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, President Gjorge Ivanov and Foreign Minister Antonio Milošoski.
Mr. Nimetz – who is heading to Athens for several days of talks with senior Greek officials – said the meetings were constructive and he had presented Skopje with some changes to the proposals he submitted to both parties last October.
He voiced hope that these changes will lead to a positive reaction and accelerated negotiations, and noted that the leaders in Skopje had assured him they were eager to move forward.
The Envoy had previously proposed several alternatives, but the two Governments have remained far apart on reaching a satisfactory compromise name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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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