Merkel discussed the name dispute with Zaev and Tsipras

Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversations with Macedonian and Greek Prime Ministers on Tuesday. The topics and other details are not revealed, but the conversations took place just two days after Macedonian Prime Minister Zaev announced to the Macedonian public that the draft solution for the name was “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” and after the rejection arrived from Athens immediately by a statement from the Greek government – that there should be a name that will have a geographical or time determinant.
German Chancellor Merkel on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia had separate meetings with Zaev and Tsipras, after which she said he was glad to hear that the talks between Macedonia and Greece are progressing well. “Both countries have done a lot in the direction of substantial progress, although they are still not on target,” she said last Thursday.
Merkel in Sofia once again confirmed that the decision to start Macedonia’s EU accession talks with the EU would directly depend on the solution to the name dispute.
“We very much like for the name dispute to be resolved, because Macedonia depends heavily on this solution, and to solve this problem at the same time,” the German chancellor said.
“Macedonia has a standstill in its development primarily due to the unresolved name dispute with Greece,” the state minister in the German Foreign Ministry, Michael Roth, said last weekend. Therefore, in his opinion, it is necessary to give long-term support to Zaev’s reforms. “The Western Balkans is a litmus test for the lasting success of the European model,” Rat told Welt am Sonntag.
Merkel’s conversation took place on the eve of a new round of negotiations under the auspices of Matthew Nimetz on Thursday in New York. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotziasis already there, who after the meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Greece supports the need to accept a name from the mediator’s proposals, practically rejecting the proposal “Republic of Slavic Macedonia” after having previously rejected the name “Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)”.
– We support the need to accept one of the names suggested by Nimetz. We do not agree, as you know, with the fifth name of his proposals. Let’s move on to adopting a strategic plan for friendly cooperation with this country in the future, with its new name – said Kotzias. He explained that he did not talk to US Secretary of State Pompeo about the name issue, but that it was the topic of the meetings scheduled for yesterday and Thursday, with US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell.
Kotzias, however, did not reveal exactly what they discussed with Mitchell, but says that no one is pushing Greece to anything in terms of closing the issue because it has the initiative for the proceedings, and everyone follows in a positive way how one country with active foreign policy promotes solutions.