- Bilateral Relations
Foreign Minister Kotzias meets with FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met today with the Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Poposki, on the margins of the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, in Riga.
Mr. Kotzias reiterated to Mr. Poposki the Greek side’s longstanding firm positions with regard to the talks being carried out under the direction of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Matthew Nimetz, on the issue of the name of the neighbouring state, underscoring that Greece has made significant moves in the direction of a mutually acceptable compound name with a geographical qualifier, for all uses domestic and international (erga omnes), and that Greece is waiting for the FYROM side to show the same responsible stance and willingness to resolve the problem.
With regard to the prospect of FYROM’s accession to the European Union and NATO, Mr. Kotzias also stated that the decision will be made based on criteria and processes that are in place for all candidate countries, and that the decision taken will be collective. Of particular importance in this direction are the functioning of a nomocracy, peaceful interethnic relations, regional stability, respect for the principles of good neighbourly relations, and the preclusion of irredentism.
With regard to the problem of the irredentism that is exhibited in a variety of ways by the FYROM side, Mr. Kotzias stressed that it is the real problem behind the issue of the name. Mr. Kotzias stated to Mr. Poposki that, in order for irredentist policy to be confronted, he intends to propose the adoption of confidence-building measures (CBMs) to the government of the neighbouring country, as a further step of good will on the part of the Greek side.
Mr. Kotzias also observed that, while the name issue appears to impact FYROM’s domestic political scene, in Greece we have seen the shaping of a broad consensus that is not impacted by domestic politics.