FM Kotzias repeated Athens’ full support for FYROM’s security and stability

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Thursday reaffirmed Greece’s full and active support for the security and stability of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), in a written reply to a question tabled by Centrists’ Union MP Aristidis Fokas on human rights in Greece’s northern neighbour.

Kotzias, as he had done during a press conference with his Crotian counterpart Davor Ivo Stier on Wednesday, replied that FYROM’s security and stability were essential for the entire region.

In his letter to Fokas, Kotzias said that Greece closely monitors respect and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, especially minority rights. “Ensuring the protection and respect for human rights in FYROM, regardless of ethnic descent, is not only a treaty obligation of the country as a member-state of the Council of Europe but is also monitored as part of its course toward the European Union,” he added.

Kotzias again expressed the Greek foreign ministry’s intention to work closely with the new government in Skopje, both on finding a mutually acceptable solution to the long-pending name dispute and to help establish a culture of compromise between political forces, the principles of the rule of law and democratic institutions in the neighbouring country.

“Our country’s cooperation with all the countries in the region, the countries that are candidates for EU membership and our European partners and allies, must be based on mutual respect, mutual understanding and the fundamental principles of good neighbourhood and regional cooperation and stability. In this light, bilateral cooperation is evaluated each time and further steps are decided to continue it. Our cooperation with FYROM will be judged in this light also,” he said.