Name dispute coming to an end, Osmani tells Greek Antenna TV

Athens, 10 January 2018  – Mutually acceptable solution exists and I think we have reached the end of the problem, Macedonia’s Deputy PM for EU Affairs Bujar Osmani in the interview with the Greek Antenna TV.

Shortly after Tuesday’s meetings with his hosts, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs George Katrougalos, Osmani, explained in televised interview that the name issue, apart from blocking the Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic perspective, is an obstacle to bilateral co-operation, MIA reports from Athens.

“I think that the (name) dispute is coming to an end. It has taken us 25 years of opportunity for cooperation, exchange and development. Now is the time to close it, with any damages and taking into consideration the sensitivity of the two sides in regard to the issue. A solution which is mutually acceptable exists, without harming most sensitive values that two sides have in regard to this issue,” Osmani told Antenna TV, MIA reports.

In the interview he underlined that he delivered the message in Athens that the government is committed to finding a solution.

“This dispute which lasts too long, blocks my country’s prospects for NATO and EU integration, and NATO and EU are of vital importance for the future of the citizens,” Osmani said.

Regarding the articles in the media about the name “New Macedonia” as a possible solution, he said that they have not yet reached that stage in order to discuss specific proposals.

“We are now discussing methods to access, the sensitivity of the problem, and the creation of positive contacts and some steps that should be taken in the meantime to gain the moment of maturity, so that we can close the dispute,” Osmani said.

In regard whether a referendum will be announced in Macedonia, Osmani told that at this stage we should focus on finding a solution and leave the referendum for later.