FYROM’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said the citizens of his country had every right to be called “Macedonians” and speak the Macedonian language, which was part of a wider Slavic linguistic branch. During a joint press conference with UN special envoy on the name dispute with Greece, Matthew Nimetz, Mr Dimitrov underlined that he did understand that some Greeks self-identified as Macedonians, but added that no-one else in Europe denied FYROM and its citizens the right to be Macedonian and use their language.
“The more you publicly discuss this issue, the less the chances of finding a solution are. If there is a decent way to respect the identity of both parties, then a solution can be found”, he added.
“There is a will on our part, and we hope there will be on the other side. If there is a solution that respects the identity and dignity of both sides, then it will be found”, Dimitrov said, stressing that the negotiations were focused on Matthew Nimetz’s proposals.
On his part, Mr Nimetz, appeared optimistic, stressing that the process was underway and that there was a willingness for a solution on both sides.
“We were hopeful in past years, but for one reason or another, it did not move forward. Now we have a window of opportunity. In both countries, there are leaders who genuinely want an agreement, but there are also objective reasons now is the time to find a solution”, the UN envoy said.