FM Nikos Kotzias, Dimitrov say name issue talks are moving forward

Greece believes in an “honourable compromise” from which both sides will win, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said during a joint press conference with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov in Skopje on Friday.

“You cannot get everything you have in your mind,” he said, following lengthy talks with Dimitrov, as efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute intensify.

Kotzias said relations between the two countries must follow the very good relations between the two people, presenting as an example the thousands of citizens from FYROM who visit Greece every year for holidays.

“I deeply believe that if we manage – and we must manage – to resolve the problems, which neither I nor Nikola [Dimitrov] created […] this will allow both our states to contribute to stability, security, as well as the economic development of the region. I believe that overcoming political obstacles contributes to the economic and social development,” he said.

“We want an honourable, fair and right solution that takes into account the main interests of each side,” he added.

Dimitrov recognized the difficulties but did not exclude a change in the constitution or a composite name in one word. He said talks were very good and more meetings are planned for the future after the one with the UN mediator Matthew Nimetz in a week.

Responding to a journalist’s question on the constitutional changes requested by Greece, Dimitrov said the two sides are trying to find a solution that will be “sufficiently good” for both sides.

“A viable solution is one which, with the help of both sides, will be acceptable to both sides as well as by public opinion and our citizens. It is our duty to come to a point where we will be ready to open this, to propose it and defend it,” he said.

Both ministers expressed their will to move forward with a solution to the name row that “will open the doors to the future”.