Countryman: Now is the time to solve name issue

Washington, 25 June 2011 (MIA) - The name issue needs to be solved swiftly and the time to do this is now, said U.S. Deputy-Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman at the global conference of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) in Washington, reports Voice of America in Macedonian Language.

"It seems unfair that the process of Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration is firmly linked to this emotional issue. Fair or unfair, the reality of this connection cannot be avoided. We must deal with the world as it is. Failure to solve this harms Macedonia. It prevents the country from assuming its deserved place in NATO and EU, and the time to solve the issue is right now", added Countryman.

According to him, compromise can be painful, but the political ache would be temporary.

"I can assure you that the United States will not urge the Macedonian government to accept a solution that threatens the sovereignty, territorial integrity of the state and citizens' identity", stressed Countryman.

The UMD global conference focused on current developments in Macedonia, as well as the country's progress in the past 20 years.

"We are definitely very satisfied how the conference progresses. Yesterday we lobbied in the Congress and briefed congressmen and senators on the Macedonian issue, visiting about 100 offices within three hours", said UMD president Metodija Koloski.

UMD is not altering its position on the name issue - Macedonia needs to withdraw from the UN-led talks and the country deserves to be named Macedonia, while the language Macedonian.



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