Proposal for gradual name row settlement will not work: Macedonian PM

09:47, January 15, 2010      

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Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Thursday that the idea of settling the name dispute with Greece in a fashion of a gradual way will get no where.

Pavle Trajanov, lead of the Democratic Union inside the ruling coalition government led by Gruevksi has proposed that Macedonia and Greece adopt a three-step solution to the name dispute between the two neighbors.

"Trajanov's proposal is probably well-intended and I am welcoming it, but considering the talks I have had thus far with Greece, it is completely unacceptable and (the country's officials)refuse to discuss it," Gruevski said.

Trajanov proposed that the two countries first settle on a compromise name for international use for the tiny western Balkan country.

He assumes that this would prompt Athens, a member of the EU and NATO to lift its blockades on Macedonia's aspiration to join the EU and NATO.

The second phase envisages the forming of bilateral committees that would gradually solve each open issue, including the span of use of the agreed name, he said.

And the UN Security Council would step in at the end by voting a deal that would be complemented with all previous bilateral agreements, Trajanov proposed.

Athens and Skopje are locked in a 19-year-long dispute over the use of the name of Macedonia. Athens claims that Macedonia's name implies territorial claims against Greece's own northern province, also called Macedonia.

In December last year, the EU postponed a decision on opening accession talks with Macedonia due to the name dispute. Greece also vetoed Macedonia's NATO aspirations over the row in 2008.

Source: Xinhua
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