Osmani: First – name solution, then referendum

Bujar Osmani; Photo: Government of Macedonia

SKOPJE – Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, said that he would announce in due time when he leaves for Athens to meet with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, after Greek media reported that Osmani will make an official visit to Athens on Monday or Tuesday.

“We have continuous communication with the Republic of Greece, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. This communication will continue, there will be regular meetings in the upcoming period. Under conditions of animosity and lack of communication, one can not expect the settlement of the dispute with Greece. We create bridges; every visit to Athens or Skopje is one bridge more”, Osmani said after today’s informal meeting with the Bulgarian ambassador to the country Ivan Velikov Petkov.

Osmani congratulated Bulgaria for taking over the presidency of the European Union, and expressed hope that during the Bulgarian presidency, Macedonia will receive a recommendation for the start of negotiations.

When asked whether he was in favor of a referendum on the name issue, Osmani noted that this solution has several steps and that we should start the first one, not jump to the third or fourth.

“First, lets find a solution, then we will talk about how we will verify it”, said Osmani.