Sky TV: Name solution could be reached in next six months

Athens/Skopje, 14 December 2010 (MIA) - The Macedonia-Greece name dispute could be settled in the first half of 2011. A channel is directly connecting PMs (Nikola) Gruevski and (George) Papandreou - this was concluded by a journalist of Greek TV station Sky, who was in Skopje to interview Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki.

The FM in Monday's interview with Sky TV discussed the name row, the 2008 veto for NATO membership at the Bucharest summit, the lawsuit filed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Greece and the Macedonian identity, Kanal 5 TV news correspondent reports from Athens.

Macedonia and Greece were closer than ever to reaching a solution about ten years ago, according to Milososki.

"I think that in 1999/2000 the countries were perhaps really close to some kind of mutual understanding that could have led to a name settlement - but it was a missed opportunity," the FM stated.

After the Bucharest summit in 2008 we felt an increasing pressure from Greece about the Macedonian identity and language, said Milososki responding why the Macedonian government had been insisting on the issue of language and identity in recent months.

"Our statements or our wish to promote the national identity could largely be seen as a consequence or reaction to that pressure denying the right for self-determination," Milososki stressed.

Commenting the ICJ lawsuit against Greece following the Bucharest veto on NATO membership, he said that it was a legal move, which wasn't politically motivated in a bid points to be scored in the name talks.

FM Milososki deemed that postponing a name solution was not in favour of both Macedonia and Greece. According to him, bilateral talks held between countries' premiers had opened ways for alternative solutions, suggestions, ideas to overcome the issue. He also mentioned Macedonia's activities in meeting Greek demands - amending the constitution and the flag. "It is not possible one party to set red lines and the other to accept them," Milososki noted.

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