According to the legend, Alexander the Great arrived at Gordium to have his army rested. In the palace there was an anathema to Jupiter a chariot from Gordios, father of Midas of Phrygia. The chariot yoke was tied with a skull bark, and the knot was so entangled that it was impossible to see how it was fastened. According to the existent tradition, anyone who resolved the Gordian knot would dominate Asia. Alexander went to the palace, examined the knot and cut it easily. The way he has cut it remains a mystery. The most widespread view is that he cut off the knot with his sword, exclaiming: “Whatever cannot solved can be cut off”.
The reference to the cutting of the Gordian knot is not accidental since Alexander the Great who cut it has become a point of confrontation for over 26 years between Greece and Macedonia when the VMRO nationalist party tried to write History based on non-historical facts.
The international community warmly welcomed the settlement of the dispute between Greece and Macedonia. Political leaders and the media said that Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev are two politicians with political courage and vision; two people whose choices and decisions paved the way for the resolution of the dispute.
Behind the leaders there were two people who actually ‘solved’ or for others cut off the Gordian knot that held the two countries captive in a confrontation that only caused problems not only in the countries themselves but also in the difficult and unstable region of the Balkans.
These two politicians and diplomats were Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov. The Foreign ministers of the two countries have managed to overcome any difficulties and end up putting down to paper a historic agreement. Two completely different personalities, but with the common personality “axe” called healthy patriotism.
University Professor of a left-wing political background, Nikos Kotzias worked as an expert at the Foreign Ministry, and participated in many negotiations, which are of great importance to Greece.
Diplomat Nikola Dimitrov, a member of VMRO-DPMNE until 2014, when he resigned from the MFA of Macedonia, is -not unfairly- considered as his country’s top diplomatic chapter.
It sounds normal that the approach of two people with strong personalities and different ideological perspectives over a number of issues becomes difficult.
But judging from the outcome, and despite any difficulties that have arisen, they have managed to overcome themselves by opening the way for co-operation, peace and stability, for their countries and for the wider Balkan region. In a period of fluidity and change in the international scene, Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov, they seemed worthy of their country and the wider region.
Of course, all those who, in one way or another, tried to block the deal and to unjustly slander the two Foreign Ministers, accusing them as traitors appeared in the greater “picture”.
History, an undeniable witness, ‘wrote’ that no one forgot the Macedonian issue within 10 years. No one has forgotten that due to the inertia of the Greek governments the international community named the neighboring state of Greece Macedonia and no one can deny that a signed agreement has done justice. Also, no one can deny that, no matter how many efforts nationalist governments in Macedonia have made to alter the Greek identity of Macedonia’s History and re-write history have not made it.
History once again recorded that whatever cannot be solved can be cut. And it is cut with courage, knowledge, sobriety and vision for peace, stability and co-operation…. / IBNA