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FYROM Foreign Minister: We were and will remain Macedonians

Nikola Dimitrov gives interview to state TV

Foreign Affairs Minister of FYROM Nikola Dimitrov clarified that his country’s interests in the negotiations with Greece over the name dispute focused on “securing their national identity”, adding that the citizens were and would remain “Macedonians”.

During an interview on state TV, Mr. Dimitrov expressed his surprise over the statements made by his country’s chief negotiator in New York, Vasko Naumovski after the end of the talks with the Greek delegation regarding the proposals put on the table by the UN negotiator Mathew Nimetz. Mr. Naumovski had stated that the proposals by Mr. Nimetz were far from honest, something the Foreign Minister explained as being for the appeasement of FYROM’s domestic audience.

He stressed that FYROM did not have the luxury to squander an opportunity to reach a solution over the name dispute, claiming a solution would act as a catalyst for FYROM strengthening its prospects of being accepted in the EU and NATO, which would mean prosperity and growth for his country. Mr. Dimitrov added that the governments of both Greece and FYROM were dedicated to reaching a solution on the name issue stressing that his meetings with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias were open and honest.

The FYROM Minister said that efforts were being made to arrange a meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two nations on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 24.