FYROM premier expresses optimism for resolution of name dispute in 2018

The Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Zoran Zaev expressed optimism on Tuesday that his country and Greece will reach a solution on the issue in 2018, noting that this will open the way to join NATO and start accession negotiations with the EU.

He said FYROM is determined to enter into substantive negotiations with Greece in the next six months on the name issue.

“For our part, we are ready for a substantial and true engagement into resolving the name issue in the first six months of this year. I am convinced that it is possible to find a solution, but of course it is also necessary to encounter readiness from the other side,” he was quoted as saying.

Zaev said this was the reason he chose to spend the New Year holidays in Thessaloniki to send a message that politicians should open closed doors in order for citizens to communicate and cooperate better between them and abandon prejudices.

The FYROM premier was a guest of Thessaloniki mayor Yiannis Boutaris and said he spoke with both Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to wish him a Happy New Year.