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Greece: Macedonia

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what diplomatic steps his Department has taken to encourage agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in their negotiations on the name of FYROM. (247729)

[holding answer 15 January 2009]: UN Special Representative, Matthew Nimetz, mediates negotiations between Greece and Macedonia seeking to resolve their bilateral dispute over the ‘name issue’. The UK supports this process and we regularly encourage both Greece and Macedonia to work seriously and flexibly to find a solution. Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit last year, Ministers and officials have discussed the matter with both our Greek and Macedonian counterparts. Our ambassadors in Athens and Skopje also regularly raise the issue at the most senior levels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the name of FYROM being reached in the near future; and if he will make a statement. (247730)

[holding answer 15 January 2009]: Negotiations between Greece and Macedonia on the ‘name issue’ are ongoing under the auspices of UN Special Representative, Matthew Nimetz. The UK is not party to the detail of these negotiations or the position taken by the two parties in the negotiations and therefore any assessment of the prospects for agreement would necessarily be speculative. However, we continue to encourage both Macedonia and Greece to engage flexibly in the negotiations and hope that they will be able to find an early solution.