World Bulletin / News Desk
With the conclusion of elections in Greece and Macedonia, negotiations should now progress on the Macedonian name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations Special mediator told Anadolu Agency (AA).
After the latest round of negotiations in New York on Tuesday, Nimetz emphasized governments in Athens and Skopje should now give increased attention to the issue which has been ongoing for some 20 years.
“It is a good time for the leadership of both countries to think seriously whether there are some new ways of looking at these problems,” Nimetz said after meeting Macedonian ambassador Zoran Jolevski, and his Greek counterpart Adamantios Vasilakis at UN Headquarters.
Nimetz said all parties will be working on the issue over the northern hemisphere summer. The veteran ambassador, said he may travel to the region again at the beginning of July for meetings in both Athens and Skopje.
The Macedonian name dispute has been an ongoing issue in bilateral and international relations since 1991. Greece opposes the use of the name "Macedonia" by Skopje without a geographical determinant. Greece blocked Macedonia from becoming a full member of NATO in 2008.
Macedonia was forced in 1993 to accept UN membership, under the temporary name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ( FYROM).
Although calling for a more proactive stance Nimetz emphasized this round of negotiations in New York was not substantive and no more than the ordinary diplomatic rendezvous of old connoisseurs.
“I don’t want to a give a sense that new progress was made at this meeting,” Nimetz told AA.
It was still not clear, whether in the next months, he will be pushing for new or existing proposals. Nimetz has not propose anything new since April 2013.
The media has widely reported that Nimetz has suggested the name “Upper Republic of Macedonia,” although the UN negotiator has not announced it himself. Tuesday he told AA that he had made a number of proposals over the years.
“I don’t think it is useful to make new proposals very often, unless there seems to be some receptivity,” he said.
The goal is to have “mutually accepted solutions” under UN auspices, Nimetz told AA.
“Obviously we haven’t quite reached that,” he said. “In any negotiations the parties’ points of views are the most important.”
If accepted by both sides, Nimetz’s reported proposal would be the name used during negotiations on Macedonia's accession talks for EU membership, which are expected to start in early 2015. Macedonia achieved EU candidacy status in 2005.
Nimetz told AA his goal as a mediator is “to try to encourage both sides to think creatively.”
“So, sometimes taking the old proposals, changing it little bit and giving them something new to think about is a useful way, Nimetz said. “I am always thinking about that.”
"And a mediator can only do so much,” Nimetz explained.
The Republican billionaire's arrival caps an extraordinary and improbable run for the White House that, once he takes the reins from President Barack Obama at noon Friday, will launch the United States into new and uncharted waters.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to try to separate two groups of inmates as they fought a pitched battled in the courtyard of the Alcacuz prison, AFP reporters overlooking the facility saw.
Adama Barrow calls on fellow citizens and army to work towards national 'reconciliation' after recent political crisis
Meetings conducted in a positive spirit, participants agreed not to disclose details about their discussions, UN says
Raid and arrests come after army accusing Premium Times of 'publishing falsehood against its operations and chief'
"I will use sanctions to the maximum amount of the law," Mnuchin says
Angelino Alfano, on a one-day visit to Tunis, met with his counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui and President Beji Caid Essebsi and promised closer relations between the two Mediterranean nations.
Turkey extends condolences to 'friend and ally' Italy
"It's true that during the period of the presidency of Mr. Obama our relations seriously worsened on all levels," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Obama's last full working day as US leader before Donald Trump is sworn in Friday.
Staffan de Mistura will lead the UN delegation to the meetings in the Kazakh capital of Astana that are due to begin on Monday.
May sought to reassure guests at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Brexit did not signal a retreat into protectionism, as a slew of banks revealed plans to relocate staff following her announcement on Tuesday that Britain would leave the single market.
Voicing deep concerns about the development, Stoltenberg said cyber defence will play a key role at the next NATO summit.
Rebels had escaped from Bihanga military training school after being given asylum in Uganda in 2013
Border towns show no resistance to troops, meant to force strongman president to step down peacefully after diplomacy failed
The head of Iraq's elite Counter-Terror Service, which has been doing most of the fighting in Mosul, as well as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Wednesday that the city's east bank had been "liberated".
Interstate Aviation Committee will analyze flight recorders of cargo plane that crashes Monday near Kyrgyz capital