“I would like to congratulate the parties for reaching a successful conclusion to the talks and for resolving the difference between them”, said the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Matthew Nimetz, following the agreement by the two countries that the new name being envisaged is the Republic of North Macedonia.
Since FYROM declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Greece has refused to recognise its constitutionally-chosen name, Macedonia, insisting that only the Greek northern region of the same name, should be called Macedonia. Greece has argued that the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name was a challenge to Greek sovereignty.
Negotiations to resolve the name dispute began in 1993 and since 1999, have been led at the UN, by Mr. Nimetz.
“I have no doubt this agreement will lead to a period of enhanced relations between the two neighbouring countries and especially between their people”, he said.
“It has been an honour having the role of facilitator between the two parties and I want to pay tribute to the Secretary-General for his unwavering support and deep interest, and to other colleagues in the United Nations for their valuable contributions to the process”, he added.
He also paid tribute to the late Cyrus Vance, the former US Secretary of State, who Mr. Nimitz described as “my distinguished predecessor…whose important work in the Balkans made a lasting contribution to peace in that region.”