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Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis' welcome speech at the Global Scientific Symposium" "MACEDONIA THROUGH THE AGES: Historical facts and contemporary challenges"

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,

I convey to you the greetings of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and best wishes for the success of the proceedings of this symposium, wich coincides with the Opening of the 12th Global Conference of Pan-Macedonian Associations and the 71st Pan-Macedonian Symposium of America.

Allow me, as a Macedonian, to express my joy at being here with you today, as I am aware of your ongoing struggle and the long years of efforts you have made to promote the scientific knowledge and cultural tradition of Macedonia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In an unstable global environment, we are exercising a multidimensional proactive policy, drawing a national line, as became apparent in the negotiations in recent months on the Cyprus issue.

Greece respects International Law and the decisions of international organizations such as the UN, vigorously defending our national interests within this framework.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are working to bring security and stability to our neighbourhood and to keep the channels of communication open.

We want stability and continued cohesion for our northern neighbour, and we are the only country not to have interfered in its domestic affairs during the recent crisis.

But FYROM must abandon the state ideology of ahistorical irredentism, on which it raised generations that now perceive Greece with a sense of fear.

The resolution of the problems depends first and foremost on the creation of a mindset and culture of consensus and compromise on the part of our neighbours in FYROM. The creation of another outlook, towards which they must also be urged by European leaderships; European leaderships that must not spoil this government in the way they did the Gruevski government – treatment that merely created intransigence. This new outlook must keep the new government open – beyond just the communications level – so that it can look for ways to open a process for seeking a solution.

Greece has shown in recent years, through our policy of joint confidence-building measures in sectors such as economy, border control, energy and education, that it wants regional stability and is pursuing bilateral cooperation. We want to have a stable neighbour that abandons nationalistic mindsets of the past.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pointing up objective reality through scientific research into the wealth of Macedonia is something that we, too, support, through the exercising of educational and cultural diplomacy.

I wish you every success in the proceedings of your Symposium, and I hope to see all of you again next year – and in particular those of you who have come from abroad to be with us here today.

Thank you.

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