Davos meeting to show direction of talks, says Greek FM

We are close to a solution on certain issues and the meeting in Davos will show the direction of the talks, says Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, MIA reports from Athens.

Speaking to Greek journalists following a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday, FM Kotzias referred to latest developments in the name row and Sunday’s protests in Thessaloniki.

“A deadline requires additional efforts. We are close to a solution on certain issues. I believe topics to be discussed in Davos on Wednesday will show the direction,” says Kotzias.

He rejects any type of pressure on Athens or meddling by third parties.

“No one is putting pressure and we do not allow anyone to pressure us. Greece is using the pressure of the other side in order to open its European perspective,” stresses Kotzias and adds the bilateral talks have been facilitated by the fact that the Europeans and Americans realized they should not meddle.

According to him, Athens will not allow Skopje to join NATO if the required criteria are not met and provided the name issue is solved.

Regarding yesterday’s protest, the Greek FM says this is a democratic right and does not affect the name talks.

“The protest reflected the agony of many Greeks, who sometimes have misconceptions about the name talks, identifying them with the destiny of Greek Macedonia. This protest adds to the forms of public debate, but I believe it will not affect the name talks. With regards to the irredentism issue, it is obvious that each action that condemns it is welcome. We will solve the name issue based on the future perspectives of stability in the region, the role of the Greek diplomacy and the necessity for our country to play a leading role in the area,” underlines FM Kotzias.