Government reacts to Berlin declaration on FYROM name dispute

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel,(R) welcomes the Prime Minister of FYROM Nikola Gruevski, at the ‘West Balkan Conference’ at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday.

One day after a summit in Berlin called for a swift solution to the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the government in Athens Friday confirmed its support of ongoing talks.

“Greece supports the negotiation process,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras said Friday, stressing that Greece’s position is in line with European norms and international law.

His comments came a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU officials hosted leaders from eight Western Balkan nations in Berlin. The gathering, which was designed to promote economic and political reform in the region, appeared to mark a shift from Washington to Berlin of diplomatic pressure for a name settlement, according to analysts.

“The key to a substantial development in this process is not to be found in Athens,” Koutras said, describing the issue as a matter of regional stability.

A joint declaration issued after the Berlin conference said that the “dispute must be urgently be resolved by a willingness to compromise on all sides.”

source: ekathimerini.com

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