Negotiations must be concluded and the citizens of both Greece and FYROM need to focus on a solution to the problem, Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations Special Representative for the naming dispute between the two countries, said on Monday in an interview with public broadcaster ERT.
He pointed out that there is now a positive momentum due to the constructive climate created by Foreign Minister’ Nikos Kotzias’ Confidence Building Measures and the lack of provocative rhetoric by the new Skopje government, as well as the interest in resolving the name issue on both sides, adding that Greece will play an important role in the region after the solution.
He said that he would propose ideas that have been put on the table in the past, and he confirmed that there is talk of some form of qualifier in the name. He also estimated that if Athens and Skopje find a solution to the name dispute, they can also find a solution to other related problems and expressed the hope that citizens will see the solution with seriousness and support it.
Nimetz stressed that “there is a positive momentum in both countries”, as the “new government in Skopje is very interested in resolving this issue”, but also “the Greek government recognises that it would be good for the issue to be resolved.”
“I think citizens in both countries may be ready to hear about solutions that are in line with their national interests, but they also have compromise elements that will resolve the issue,” he noted.