U.S. Department of State Press Briefing on Macedonia 02/01/2007

 Source: U.S. Department of State

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah. Lambros.

QUESTION: On FYROM. They are laughing of course. It’s a matter of laughing– yes. Anyway, FYROM.

MR. MCCORMACK: FYROM. Oh, yes. FYROM, yes.

 

QUESTION: We will listen carefully what you’re going to say. The Defense Minister of FYROM Lazar Elenovski after his meeting yesterday with the DOD, DOS, and White House officials stated that the U.S. Government in no levels supports the integration of his country with NATO without, however, solving the main dispute with Greece. He said specifically, “I expect no obstruction from Greece to the accession to NATO.” Could you please, Mr. McCormack, comment since he’s placing the U.S. Government on the spot after those meetings?

MR. MCCORMACK: How is he placing us on the spot?

QUESTION: Because — okay. In order to facilitate your answer. Okay, what is the U.S. position vis-à-vis to the dispute between the Greece and FYROM on the name?

MR. MCCORMACK: They have to come to common agreement on it. We have made our decision known on how we are going to refer to Macedonia. But Greece and Macedonia need to come to some sort of accommodation or understanding as to what Greece will refer to Macedonia as.

QUESTION: But otherwise if FYROM is going to submit an application to become a member of the European Union or NATO regardless of solving the problems between Greece, are you going as the U.S. Government to support this application using the name FYROM?

MR. MCCORMACK: I think that you can proceed concomitantly on both of those — on those tracks, resolving — trying to resolve the name issue between Macedonia and Greece and considering applications to those various bodies. In the case of the EU, we don’t have a say in that.

QUESTION: No, I’m saying —

MR. MCCORMACK: We’re not a member. But in the case of NATO, then we will talk to Macedonia about their aspirations. We have made it very clear that NATO should have a door open to consideration in expanding its membership. And we’re going to continue to talk to Macedonia about what their aspirations are.

QUESTION: Otherwise you’re going to support Skopje submitting the application to become a member of NATO using the name FYROM. Correct?

MR. MCCORMACK: That’s not what I said. I said that we are going to continue to talk to Macedonia about their aspirations for joining NATO. That is not a process that has played out completely and that we are only one part of that conversation. They have to have that conversation with others. I understand in the case of Greece, that they need to come to some accommodation on this, for those two parties, difficult issue. We understand that it’s difficult for them. It’s an emotional issue. But they should try to work through the issue. They after all live next door to one another. Neither of them are going to be able to move. So they should work to resolve the issue.

QUESTION: One —

MR. MCCORMACK: We’ve got to —

QUESTION: One last —

MR. MCCORMACK: We’ve got to move —

QUESTION: Mr. McCormack —

MR. MCCORMACK: Lambros, Lambros, we’re going to move on. Okay?

To see what the Associated Press wrote about this on 02/01/2007, click HERE.

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