A flurry of diplomacy is under way amid reports of a new push to resolve the “Macedonia” name dispute with the possible drafting of an international treaty among the options said to be under consideration.
According to sources, diplomats are discussing the possibility of an international treaty being drafted, foreseeing FYROM’s accession to NATO when the country’s constitution has been revised to reflect agreed-upon changes. The treaty would be ratified by the parliaments of Greece and FYROM, Kathimerini reads.
The aim is for enough progress to be achieved so that the two countries’ prime ministers, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, can discuss the issue ahead of an EU-Western Balkans summit scheduled to take place in Sofia on Thursday. The two leaders are to meet either late tomorrow or early on Thursday, with some reports indicating that two meetings are a possibility.
The key obstacle to a deal on the long-standing dispute, it seems, is still about the use of any name that is agreed on. Athens wants the agreed name to be “erga omnes” – used both domestically and abroad – but there is resistance in Skopje. Another point of contention is Greece’s demand for the agreed-upon changes to be reflected in FYROM’s constitution; not only is there opposition to such a prospect in Skopje but the government lacks the necessary majority to pass such amendments in FYROM’s parliament.
The two sides have reached agreement on several “soft” policy issues, agreeing to boost economic cooperation as well as cooperation in their education and culture sectors. However, until all loose ends have been tied up there will be no final agreement between Athens and Skopje, Kathimerini reads.