Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov is set to meet Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias on Wednesday, MIA reports from Athens.
Greek media have given no details over the topics of discussion, saying Dimitrov and Kotzias will certainly tackle the confidence-building measures and ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
FM Dimitrov says in an interview with “The Financial Times” prior to the visit that Macedonia considers using the interim reference to join NATO.
“I will ask Greece to reconsider what kind of neighbour they want — do they want a stable, friendly country that offers hope for democracy and justice?. If we are a good ‘neighbour, then hopefully political forces in Greece will realise this is a historic opportunity.”, says Dimitrov in the interview.
Dimitrov accompanied Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at Monday’s meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“We hope that under the provisional reference Macedonia will be invited to join NATO in compliance with the agreements with Greece. While the 29 NATO members are finishing ratification, which takes 2 years, we will be seeking a solution. There are many alternatives, it depends a lot on our southern neighbor. But, we are looking for all the more reason to find positive solutions for stability, which is very plausible if Macedonia joins NATO,” said Zaev.
Stoltenberg said NATO stood by the request for ‘a mutually acceptable solution over the name issue first, then a membership invitation. He added the Alliance had never been explicit on what kind of solution should be agreed, only that it had to be a mutually acceptable one.
“As long as it is something that is acceptable both by Greece and FYROM, then we can start to move. But it is not up to me to dictate or to specify a solution,” stressed Stoltenberg.
Over the weekend, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told Macedonia that it will have to accept a change to the constitutional name if it is to join NATO and open European Union accession talks.
“Now that things have stabilized, they will again come and tell us that to stabilize the country further, they need to join NATO and the European Union. No objection here. But they first need to implement their obligations, which means to stop their irredentism and make a compromise on the name. They need to learn the process, the culture of compromise, of consensus and to accept the necessary changes to their constitutional name”, Kotzias said.
Official Berlin, through its tightly controlled media is already prepping us for what’s coming. According to TagesZeitung, Dimitrov is heading to Athens to agree on the new name for the country. According to the paper, one thing is clear, the new Government is there to approve the new name.