Thursday, February 20, 2014

Awkward meetings between Venizelos and Macedonian officials underway
Thursday, 20 February 2014
As any presidency of EU so far, he visits current candidates in the region and MFA considers it as good opportunity to exchange views on expectations for progress in the six -month presidency.

- For us, this Presidency has special dimension related to the fact that it is our neighbor and the fact that for five years we have opposition to start negotiations for EU membership, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki.

At the meeting also was discussed the name issue, in relation to which Poposki do not expect move given the situation in Greece now.

Yes, of course. Fro us it is a question that we have to discuss openly because we know that it is the key obstacle that has been placed on the road to EU and NATO membership. I do not believe that currently there is political climate for substantial commitment from the other side to move forward. In any case, we will be committed to what is within the scope of our control and to all reforms that we make for better Macedonia. Will remain open to dialogue at any time, any place and format, answered Minister Poposki when asked whether at the meeting with Venizelos there was a discussion on the name issue.

Asked by a Yunanistani journalist, if at the NATO Summit in September a solution is not reached and taking into account the judgment of the International Court of Justice, whether Macedonia will again raise the issue before the Court in the Hague or another international organization, Poposki said we must keep in mind probation period and indicated that at this moment he would not go into speculation.

For the fact that Venizelos only in Skopje would not hold a joint press conference with Macedonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poposki stated that it “is probably because he did not like the background,” and that it is the question “of taste”, speaking of the panel on which is written Macedonia.

After meeting with Poposki, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister met with Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi and is  planned to meet with President Gjorgje Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and leaders of DUI Ali Ahmeti and SDSM Zoran Zaev.

Venizelos is anticipated at the end of the visit to Macedonia to hold a press conference at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje .

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