May 22, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is deeply concerned over point 26 of NATO’s official Chicago Summit communiqué regarding Macedonia. The hypocritical statement contradicts NATO’s own rules, and amounts to tacit approval of Athens’ illegal veto tactics against Macedonia, over the artificial “name dispute.”
UMD respects Macedonia’s strategic reform policies related to Euro-Atlantic integration, and its significant contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and we thank the vast majority of NATO member states for their support. However, we also call on Macedonian leaders from across the political spectrum to recognize the significance of the NATO Summit’s Chicago Declaration, which insists on: “…a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue (to be) reached within the framework of the UN…” as a new pre-condition for membership.
At least since 2008, Greece has ignored its own obligations under that framework, and this statement implies that the only way forward for Macedonia is to negate its own identity. The United States, France and Germany have officially chosen to ignore the December 2011 International Court of Justice ruling, which declared the Greek veto illegal under the 1995 Interim Accord between Macedonia and Greece; a UN-brokered agreement signed by both states, but which – according to a few NATO states – is only binding on Macedonia.
The Chicago Summit was a missed opportunity for President Obama to respect international law and further regional security, at a time when principled U.S. leadership is sorely needed. In the midst of the current debt crisis, a leaderless, bankrupt Greek state is now manipulating its debtors into destabilizing Macedonia’s security, thereby threatening the primary mission of NATO for a Europe, whole, free, and at peace. The dispute is no longer bilateral in nature, and NATO’s desired image as a defender of democratic values has been compromised.
UMD respects the Macedonian government’s plan of pushing forward with reforms despite the unjust results of the NATO Summit. UMD re-iterates its long-held position that Macedonia must immediately end the UN-brokered “name negotiation” process and any other concessions within the Interim Accord, including article 7.2 regarding the Kutlesh Sun. UMD calls on the Macedonian government to withdraw pursuing membership in NATO and the EU, if they continue to require Macedonia to change its name and national symbols, or disrespect its own language, culture, and heritage.
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