Name settlement according to friendship treaty model, Ahmeti tells Kathimerini

The name issue to be closed according to the model of the friendship treaty with Bulgaria, with a consensus reached by the two governments, followed by a ratification in the assemblies of the two countries, DUI leader Ali Ahmeti proposes in Sunday’s interview with Greece’s newspaper Kathimerini.

There is no better time than now to solve the issue, he says adding the government will be negotiating with the purpose to reach a deal, MIA reports.

“Both the government and the opposition share a historic responsibility to find a solution and to lead the citizens and the country into NATO and the EU,” Ahmeti tells Kathimerini.

“We will participate in the negotiations with the purpose to reach a deal, we will not be there only to negotiate. We need a solution, we in Skopje need it and you in Athens also need a solution. And there’s no better time than now,” Ahmeti says.

Referring to the proposals and ideas put forward by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, he says the government together with the opposition have been reviewing them and are trying to take up a positive and constructive approach.

The DUI leader explains that the term ‘Macedonia’ was included in the proposals considered in 2008 in Bucharest and once again in 2011 as part of the proposal ‘Republic of Northern Macedonia’.

“The term ‘Macedonia’ in the name of our country suggest no territorial claims over Greece,” Ahmeti says categorically.

He warns that the failure to find a solution could give rise to ambitions to redraw the borders of the Balkans.

“If this dispute remains unsolved, things can turn from bad to worse. When things are bad for us, it will have its consequences in Athens and it could also trigger old ambitions for new borders in the Balkans. I think this is very dangerous for every one of us in the region,” the leader of the junior government coalition partner warns.

Asked whether a political consensus in Macedonia over the name issue could be established and to what extent, Ahmeti criticized President Gjorge Ivanov all the while noting that the opposition supports efforts toward finding a name solution.