Tsipras emphasises irredentism of FYROM in talks with Zaev amid domestic pressure

25 January 2018
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Feeling the political pressure on the domestic front, with the massive rally in Thessaloniki, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras appeared to take a tougher stance in his 2-hour meeting with FYROM PM Zoran Zaev at Davos, tabling the issue of the neighbouring country’s irredentist policies as a first step, and then the name dispute as a kind of a roadmap to finding common grounds. Following the meeting, the statements by both showed that there is a willingness to step up the process of reaching an agreement, under pressure from the neighbour’s need to join NATO and to re-establish full relations between the two sides.

“It’s time to find a solution because it is vital to our prospect of joining NATO and the EU. The final solution must be acceptable to both sides. It must take into account the national dignity of our peoples, “Mr Zaev said. “We want to be partners in the EU and allies in NATO to address the whole context of the difficulties,” he said, adding that “we are committed to building trust between our countries”. On his part, the Greek PM emphasised a package deal that would guarantee, before anything, that there will be no territorial claims from the neighbouring country against Greece.

“We do not just want to just solve the name issue, but we want to put the two countries’ relations on solid foundations, on the foundations of mutual respect and good neighbourliness, which means that we must first deal with irredentism in all its forms, and indeed with guarantees that we will not leave any open window to re-create similar claims in the future”, the prime minister emphasised.

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