05 August 2012

O'Neal: Time for Macedonia to enter UN as Macedonia

Now it’s the right time when the Republic of Macedonia can rightfully seek from the UN General Assembly and from those 130+ countries that have already recognised it under its constitutional name, to agree to be recognised in the world organisation under this name.
British diplomat and first international mediator in Greek-Macedonia name dispute, Robin O'Neil, assessed this in an interview with MTV's ‘Porta’ program.
The recent visit of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Macedonia means support, who commented that current dispute is ‘regretful’ and should be ‘urgently’ resolved adding that he is personally committed to help in this, O’Neil said.
He explained that two foreign political goals of the Macedonian Government – sooner membership in NATO and EU and resolving the name dispute are connected, but are not identical, adding that 1995 Interim Accord offers solutions to first of the two problems. The Government in Greece agreed in Article 11.1 of this Accord that will not hinder admission of Macedonia in international organisations under the name FYR of Macedonia.
The International Court of Justice in the Hague verified that Greece is obliged to obey this obligation. As far as I know so far Macedonia has not submitted request to join in any of these two organisations under the name FYR of Macedonia. It should be remembered that the Interim Accord recognises the name FYR of Macedonia only as provisional name, O’Neil said.
The UN Security Council Resolution 817 (1993) is the same, which recommended Macedonia to be admitted in the UN under that name while the talks between Greece and Macedonia last. It is second important aspect of this issue for which entire international community agrees that the name issue is simply bilateral dispute between Greece and Macedonia, he said, adding that this is somehow forgotten by the international community.
The dispute between Macedonia and Greece is purely bilateral and accordingly other counties should not be interested in this. Other countries can be interested in the dispute if it is a threat for the peace or stability of the Balkans, but it is not the case. UN Security Council resolutions requested from Greece and Macedonia to resolve their bilateral dispute however in the period of 20 years Greece refused any kind of reasonable compromise.
Since the dispute is only between Greece and Macedonia one possible direction towards progress would be Greece in relations with Macedonia to use name different from “Republic of Macedonia,” and Macedonia to accept it in this relations. Macedonia would continue not to have problem to use the constitutional name of “Hellenic Republic” and I do not see any problem here, and I hope that Macedonia will be flexible in relation to the name, which Greece will use towards (it) Macedonia.
Such an agreement would only have bilateral meaning and the same will not be used or will have influence on the name under which Macedonia will be known in the UN or international organisations including here NATO and EU.
Commenting the statement of Daniel Serwer on importance of Macedonia’s admission in NATO as the factor of providing stability in the region, O’Neil reiterated his position saying “is the most relevant for Greece which has many direct interests in the stability of the region and in good-neighbourly relations with all around it.” This interest will be fully met through establishing close relations with Macedonia as member of the NATO and as EU partner, O’Neil said.
The name dispute is exaggerated as highly emotional political problem and for this no one should be blamed but political parties in Greece. Once resolved, it would show that the solution will not bring any wrong either to Greek state or Greek nation, Robin O'Neil said in his interview with MTV's  ‘Porta’ program.

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