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Dimitrov and Kotzias: Honest solution will take into account positions of both sides

Dimitrov and Kotzias; Photo: Bulgarian Presidency

SKOPJE – After the bilateral meeting between the Macedonian and Greek delegations in Skopje – the foreign ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias expressed goodwill for reaching a solution, as well as more reservations regarding the quick solution over the name issue. However, the two foreign ministers sent a joint message – that work must be done to overcome the problems and build a common future. Both sides sent out the message that the solution will only be found in a real compromise, in which both sides will receive the most important part of their demands.

“We had good discussions about the name differences. When talking about the future, it’s hard to find a difference. However, in order to get there we need to overcome the name difference. This task is not easy. It’s a very delicate balance. For half a day, I have been thinking what matters to the Greek public , and in the second half, I think about what is important for the Macedonian public. We are looking for a way that will not humiliate anyone, and will open the door for a solution”, said Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said he is in Skopje to open the second phase of consent and support for Macedonia’s entry into the EU.

“I deeply believe that we can and if we take steps we can solve the differences, and we are obliged to solve them, and it will give opportunity for the progress of both countries and development of the whole region”, said Kotzias, mentioning that the easiest part in politics is not to do anything.

He believes in an honest agreement from which the two sides will benefit and there will be no one who loses, but a compromise will be reached.

Asked about the “matching” of the three documents on the table (Greek, Macedonian and Nimetz), Kotzias said that “the texts are in order to clarify the positions, and in the end will make a joint text that Nimetz will deliver to UN “.

According to Dimitrov, a sustainable solution is one that will be accepted by both sides, both from the public and citizens.

“I honestly think this is a competition between the future and the past. We have a lot of history in the Balkans”, he said, stressing that “history is very important, but we can not change it.”

The Macedonian Foreign Minister has big reserves for the proposal “Upper Macedonia”, as a word and written in Cyrillic.

“I can find many arguments to explain why this is not a good direction. It’s hard for me to tell my own people about a complex name with some sort of title even if there is just one word. If it is pronounced quickly, the term Macedonia can disappear”, said Dimitrov.

To the question “what is an honest solution”, Kotzias said that “it is a solution that takes into account the main points of each side”.

Meetings between Kotzias and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi follow, as well as with leaders of DUI and VMRO-DPMNE, Ali Ahmeti and Hristijan Mickoski.

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