Greek Foreign Minister cautions FYROM over provocative statements



Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister, Giorgos Katrougalos on Tuesday cautioned the government of FYROM over the recent provocative statements about the “Macedonian” language, made by their Prime Minister and later retracted.

He cautioned that statements that throw the actual content of the Prespes Agreement into doubt must be avoided.

Katrougalos made the comments following his meeting with Nikola Dimitrov, Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministers Summit in Brussels.

The Greek minister said he had an  in-depth discussion with Dimitrov and that they “both agreed that problematic statements casting doubt on the real meaning of the Prespes Agreement," signed between the two countries in June, "must be avoided because both countries are committed to the faithful observation of the spirit and letter of this Agreement, which is mutually beneficial to both countries."

He said that the obligations of either side are clearly laid out in the Agreement's article 4, paragraph 3, leaving no room for each country to intervene in the other's domestic affairs. "We remain therefore committed to the spirit and letter of the Prespes Agreement and are both proceeding to its full ratification following the completion of the constitutional revision in (FYROM), exactly as the Agreement sets out," Katrougalos said.

Earlier Katrougalos met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the FYROM issue and the process of that country's accession application once the Agreement is ratified by both countries.

He is also expected to meet with Foreign Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey and Ditmir Bushati of Albania on the sidelines of the NATO Summit.