Nimitz will not table a new proposal for the name issue at the meeting with Greece & FYROM negotiators, FM Dimitrov says

22 November 2017
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His assessment that the UN mediator on Matthew Nimitz will not submit a new proposal on this issue at his meeting in Brussels on 11 – 12 December with the negotiators of Greece and FYROM, Adamantios Vassilakis and Vasko Naumovski respectively, stated the Foreign Minister of FYROM, Nikola Dimitrov.

Dimitrov, in an interview with a TV channel of FYROM, said that Matthew Nimitz will probably use this first meeting after a long time to explore the intentions and to discuss the form and the momentum of the procedure.

He added, however, that in any case it is left to the UN mediator himself to assess whether and when to make a proposal.

“It is a matter of his own assessment. We will see”, the FM said.

He explained that the proposal or not is a negotiation technique, as in some cases the filing of a proposal may generate positive momentum, while at other times it may have the opposite effects, especially when one of the parties considers that the proposal submitted is very much away from its positions, resulting in rejecting it and assuming a more defensive role in the negotiating process.

Asked whether the process of resolving the name issue will be completed by a referendum in the country, Dimitrov said that this is a programmatic position of all the political parties in FYROM.

Asked about the “red lines” with which FYROM is entering the negotiations, Dimitrov said there are two problems regarding “red lines”. The first is that the public announcement of “red lines” – not only in the name issue, but in every dispute – drastically limits the margins of the party that announces them to move from its positions. The second problem, as he said, if he publicly announced the “red lines” of FYROM, it would actually be like announcing publicly on the Greek side the final line of the country.

“It is very difficult to have a successful negotiation when there is an exchange of messages through public opinion”, the foreign minister noted, adding that it is more important to send discreet messages. As such, Dimitrov mentioned the fact that FYROM has on many occasion reiterated that issues of national identity must be left out of negotiation and that if FYROM feels threatened “with respect to ‘who we are’”, then there will be no solution.

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