FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2007
Contact: Dijana Despodova Pajkovski
Phone: (202) 213-4441
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) added its name to voices from around the world calling on the United Nations to finally recognize the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.
As UMD President Metodija A. Koloski stated: “A constitutional name is crucial to any nation’s identity, and it is essential to the inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the court of public opinion, there is no debate on this issue. The Republic of Macedonia is a respected member of the brotherhood of nations and it is a stabilizing factor in the Balkans. Sadly, due to internal pressure from domestic nationalists, the Greek government has felt compelled to continue its 16-year propaganda campaign against her peaceful northern neighbor in vain.”
On Thursday, November 1st, Macedonian and Greek diplomats will meet again in New York City to continue discussions about Greece’s objection to the name Macedonia; objections based on the absurd claim that this relatively small country has “territorial ambitions” against NATO member Greece.
Koloski stated: “Under no circumstances will the Macedonians ever accept a change to the name of their homeland. The government in Athens cannot possibly succeed with this bitter campaign of deception.” The Republic of Macedonia’s constitutional name has been recognized by over 120 countries.
Greece’s own top diplomat to the Republic of Macedonia, Dora Grosomanidou, stated on July 8, 2007 to the Financial Times that “Greece has to face the new reality, as the… Republic of Macedonia has been recognized under its constitutional name [Macedonia] by more than half of the members of the U.N.” The Greek government sacked her the very next day.
For almost 96 years there has been an official policy of discrimination and forced assimilation against all ethnic minorities in Greece, and these policies have been particularly brutal towards those who originate in territories the Greek government seized from Ottoman Empire in the Balkan Wars. To this day, there is still a large ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece, and that is the real reason behind Greece’s current media war against the Macedonian republic.
In 1991, this “dirty little secret” of the Cold War era spilled onto the international stage, when Macedonia became the only republic to peacefully gain its independence from Yugoslavia. For 16 years, Greece has callously assumed the right to dictate the name and identity of a sovereign neighbor, and in the process, it has actively destabilized the region.
Koloski concluded: “… (Greece) must end its discriminatory policies; policies that have no place in 21st century Europe. We hope that Athens will bring a new spirit of cooperation to the negotiation table this week – so that both nations can put the past behind them, and work together towards building a brighter future and good neighborly relations.”
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international nongovernmental and nonpartisan organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.
For additional information, please contact Dijana Despodova Pajkovski at (202) 213-4441 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of UMD, please view our Web site at http://www.umdiaspora.org
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