January 25, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) applauds Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom for his strong statement yesterday in support of Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership, in a speech before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.
“I am supporting Macedonia’s accession to NATO and EU. I have been attentively following the latest developments, and Macedonia has made significant reforms in promoting democracy and free market economy. I expect for Greece to look from the other side, but if it wishes to enjoy all EU and NATO benefits and support, it should allow Macedonia to do the same,” said Prime Minister Cameron.
“Prime Minister Cameron understands the predicament Macedonia finds itself in, and that Greece’s opposition to Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership is based on fictitious arguments,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “We are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s support, and we hope to see a formal invitation for Macedonia to join NATO at the upcoming Chicago Summit, as well as EU accession talks later this year.”
The United Kingdom, which currently holds the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name in 1999, and both countries enjoy excellent bilateral relations.
“In 2003, the Prime Minister famously expressed his irritation on this issue, referring to Greece as “FOPOG” – the Former Ottoman Possession of Greece,” said UMD Director of PR and Communications Mark Branov. “In his speech yesterday, Cameron exposed another great contradiction in Greek foreign policy. On one hand, Greece wants NATO-guaranteed national borders for itself, but on the other hand, it wants to deny such a guarantee to its neighbor.”
Branov added: “The suggestion that Macedonia threatens Greece’s national security is an unsupportable pretense, designed to distract attention from a century of state oppression against the large ethnic Macedonian minority in northern Greece. For the sake of its own credibility, NATO must reject Greece’s aggressive behavior, and let Macedonia choose its own destiny. Meanwhile, Greece must fully recognize the rights of its ethnic minorities, in accordance with international law.”
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