Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias put forward the name dispute with FYROM during his visit to Serbia calling for realism, pragmatism and saying both parties will have to make compromises; not rotten compromises but the kind where both sides stand to gain.
The Greek FM made the comments during a joint press conference with his Serb counterpart and also Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.
“And compromise means that both sides must realise that they cannot have everything, that both sides must have gains. I hope that this is understood by all sides in the negotiations and that we have good developments,” he added.
“It is in everyone’s interests to resolve this matter and for the problems to go away,” Dacic noted, on his part. Serbia had great understanding for Greece’s stance on this issue, he added, repeating that it had been a mistake on Serbia’s part to recognise the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with its constitutional name. He said that Skopje’s attitude toward Serbia “was not the appropriate one” and offered to host an upcoming meeting between the two sides in Serbia.
In further statements, Greece and Serbia confirmed that neither country would recognise Kosovo.
“We do not recognise Kosovo diplomatically,” Kotzias said, “nor will we do so,” but said Kosovo planned to open a commercial office in Athens based on a 2014 agreement. It will not carry the status of a diplomatic mission, he noted.
Kotzias reaffirmed Greece’s support for Serbia’s EU accession noting it “belongs in the European family”.
Meanwhile Kotzias and a Greek delegation will be meeting with their FYROM counterparts on Thursday with talks with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov, and between delegations, scheduled to begin at 9am on Thursday and conclude by 12 noon.