PM Zaev optimist on name settlement respectable for both sides

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev voiced Friday belief over a solution to the name issue.

“I am an optimist and believe that the two friendly countries, which aspire to be even closer, will reach a solution that is mutually respectable and will benefit the people of both states,” Zaev told reporters in Struga.

He noted that the essence of the talks, the proposals and the framework should not be publicly debated so that not to harm the negotiations.

“You see there is a transparent process, we want national consensus towards building a solution that citizens would eventually confirm at a referendum. I am convinced that we will reach a solution that has been bothering us for 25 years if we are careful, also taking into account Greece’s aspects,” added Zaev.

Regarding President Gjorge Ivanov’s decision to veto the Law on the Use of Languages, he said the law aims at enhancing the languages in compliance with Amendment X of the Constitution.

“It is worthy to commit to one society for all, Macedonia is the mother of all citizens, we should extend our hands and trust institutions. The Constitutional Court and the Venice Commission will have a say if the Constitution is violated. We should also be mindful when sending messages, because this is also a political issue. Eventually, we should be committed to better life and perspectives for all,” said PM Zaev.

He voiced satisfaction from the visit of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and his encouraging messages.

“The Secretary-General send an encouraging message, which is also an obligation for implementation of reforms. We should work on reforms and the well-being of citizens. The name issue is a condition but I hope that Macedonia will get the NATO invitation to join as its 30. member this year,” stressed Zaev.

He urged citizens and media to be patient.

“We should be committed and everything we do will be subject to referendum. SDSM, DUI, VMRO-DPMNE and other political parties have the same or similar positions on the issue. We will take care of our identity, the dignity of our people, but we also need to take care of current and future generations,” underlined Zaev.

The PM also confirmed the meeting with Greek counterpart Tsipras in Davos on January 24.