May 1, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – A Special Assistant to President Obama said yesterday that the U.S. Obama Administration is “working very hard behind the scenes” to resolve the standoff between Macedonia and Greece, including the President himself involved in “discussions with key counterparts.” However, there was no indication of a breakthrough, and no acknowledgement of Greece’s obligations to respect international law and stop blocking Macedonia’s NATO membership over the so-called name dispute.
The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) attended the briefing of Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Special Assistant to President Obama at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on April 30, 2012. Dr. Sherwood-Randall is the Senior Director for Europe and a member of the National Security Council.
After an opening statement called “Revitalizing NATO: From Lisbon to Chicago,” UMD Fellow Matthew Emery asked about the future of Macedonia. See minute 45:05: http://www.c-span.org/Events/Presidential-Advisor-Outlines-Future-of-NATO/10737430289/
UMD’s Matthew Emery: …Macedonia has adhered to the criteria of membership since 2008, and with the recent ruling of the ICJ this past December, international law has spoken that Greece’s veto of Macedonia on this name dispute is illegal. Where do you see the future of Macedonia? How do you see the United States taking on this role and are they going to be willing to be an advocate for Macedonia moving forward on this matter? Thank you.
Dr. Sherwood-Randall: We have worked very hard behind the scenes to achieve a resolution to the standoff over the Macedonian name issue. One of the things that the president has mused about is the many things you need to know about as President – and one of those is the Macedonian name issue. He, himself, has been involved in discussions with key counterparts on this issue, and unfortunately [it] has not been resolved in time for the NATO Summit in Chicago, but we continue to hope that this will be resolved, so that Macedonia can take its place as a NATO member.”
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