The Foreign Minister of FYROM Nikola Dimitrov said his country will do everything to resolve the name dispute with Greece during a two-day Second Ministerial Meeting of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM in Thessaloniki on Thursday.
“Today I want to stay on ‘the larger picture’. In order to resolve the issue of the name – and we will naturally do the best we can to resolve it – it’s important to create a positive framework and climb out of the grooves of history, since we cannot change our history, but we can influence our future, and this future will be both common and European. It is important to invest in this direction. If there is a national interest common to all countries, including ours, it is how to do the best for our citizens’ future. We are on the right path,’’ said Nikola Dimitrov. In earlier comments to the press on the quadrilateral meetings in Thessaloniki, the foreign minister described them as “a very interesting initiative” and “a process from which we are learning how to be closer friends and future allies.”
He added that “the atmosphere encouraged me. I believe that we are growing up and maturing as an area. There is still a lot to be done, but we are on the right path.”
In his meeting with Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, he said, “we accepted that there is an issue of the name that divides the two countries (…) and in order to assist in the resolution of this issue, we focused on those areas in which we could achieve progress, and this, in turn, will contribute to resolving the issue that divides us.”
Among other things, Dimitrov said, the meeting also focused on “how we may promote and strengthen the positive agenda between the two countries” and included cooperation at the level of civil society (NGOs), the strengthening of cooperation between universities of the two countries, and the organising a business forum.
The two-day Second Ministerial Meeting was an initiative of Greece under the auspices of the Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and included foreign ministers from the four states, as well as officials from their respective energy ministries.