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MEETING BETWEEN AVRAMOPOULOS AND BESIMI: GREEK SUPPORT FOR BALKANS' EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE
Meeting Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) Deputy Premier and Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi in Athens on Wednesday, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos stressed Greece's support for its northern neighbour's European perspective, provided it meets criteria set by the European Union.
"Greece's strategic goal is the creation of a space of peace, stability and development on our northern border," Avramopoulos underlined in statements after the meeting.
The Greek minister pointed out that fYRoM's European perspective, along with that of the rest of the region, was the most effective tool for carrying out this vision, provided that the criteria and conditions outlined in unanimous EU decisions were met and fulfilled.
Pointing to the need for a rapid pace in efforts to resolve an outstanding dispute over the use of the name 'Macedonia', he said the Greek side "will proceed to accept a name with a clearly geographic determinant, which allows no margins for irredentist policies and is in no way lacking in matters relating to the highly sensitive issue of cultural and historic respect".
Avramopoulos said that the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries was examined during his meeting with Besimi, alongside ways to continue and deepen cooperation in matters relating to European unification and the transfer of knowhow.
Besimi, on his part, praised Greek initiatives to promote the 'Agenda 2014' for EU enlargement in the Balkans conveyed his best wishes for the success of Greece's EU presidency in that year. He said that he had seen "goodwill, hope and friendship, and an honest approach towards our European perspective," during his meeting with Avramopoulos, and discussed bilateral cooperation and the European Union agenda in different fields.