Macedonia name dispute tops agenda in UN chief’s meeting with Greek foreign minister

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held talks on September 22 2013 with Greek foreign minister Evangelos Venizelos to discuss UN-led talks between Athens and Skopje in the dispute over the use of the name “Macedonia”

The meeting between Ban and Venizelos, who is also Greece’s deputy prime minister, was held on the sidelines of the General Assembly high-level debate which is due to begin on September 24.

In a readout from the meeting, Ban’s spokesperson said the two officials exchanged views on prospects for resolving the “name”, including the outcomes of UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz’s recent visit to the region.

Since 1999, Nimetz has been holding talks with the two sides and proposed compromise names in his capacity as the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for the talks.

His efforts are in line with a UN-brokered interim accord reached in 1995 which details the differences between the two over the name of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, and obliges both Athens and Skopje to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General to try to reach an agreement.

Ban and Venizelos also discussed the expected resumption, in the autumn, of negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

The UN has been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership, with a view to the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.

Ban and the Greek foreign minister also spoke about the ongoing conflict in Syria, a topic that Ban also discussed with a range of other leaders he met with on September 22, the UN News Centre said.

(Photo: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)





The Sofia Globe staff

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