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UN envoy holds talks on former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia name issue

UN envoy holds talks on former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia name issue

Matthew Nimetz, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Greece-FYROM talks (center)
The United Nations envoy tasked with mediating the long-running dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the name of the latter country has held consultations today in Athens with senior Greek officials.

Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, said he had a “good meeting” with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and other senior officials. While no specific new proposals were submitted, the “outline for a solution” was discussed.

Mr. Nimetz is scheduled to be in Skopje tomorrow for meetings with President Branko Crvenkoski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and other officials from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Mr. Nimetz has frequently held talks with the two sides in recent months – including a round earlier this month in New York – to try to reach a deal, but he said in March that there has been no progress on the issue, despite an acknowledgement by both sides that a solution was in their best interests.

The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between Athens and Skopje on the name issue. It obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the Secretary-General’s auspices in a bid to reach agreement.