The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), representing Macedonian interests and culture around the world, has reacted with dismay at the nomination of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev for the next Nobel Peace Prize.
Wided Bouchamaoui, who was a joint winner for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her participation in the Tunisia National Dialogue Quartet, announced her intention to nominate the two leaders in recognition of their efforts to end the 27-year dispute over Macedonia’s name.
The Prespa Agreement, which would see Macedonia renamed “North Macedonia”, is in the process of being ratified in Macedonia and will need to be agreed by Greece which has committed to removing their objections to Macedonia joining NATO and the European Union,
Metodija A. Koloski, President of the United Macedonian Diaspora, said:
“There is a spectacular misnomer at the heart of these nominations: how can the authors of one of the most divisive, disruptive and disrespectful periods of Macedonian history be called peacemakers?
“The Prespa Agreement, the framework by which this change is going ahead, mandates the editing, censorship and redacting of school textbooks to suit contemporary political ends.
“If the United Kingdom, or the United States or any other European country was asked to change its very culture to join a political partnership, there would be international outrage. Why is it called ‘peace’ regarding Macedonia?
“Look again at the basics: a country is being asked to change its name to assuage its larger neighbour so that it can join the EU and NATO. Why are we being held to ransom, and why is it being called ‘peace’ when Macedonia’s leader bulldoze through a referendum result that didn’t meet electorial turnout requirements?
“Macedonia has never been so threatened, it has never been so culturally at risk. To be clear: we believe that Macedonia should take its place among the EU and NATO. To be threatened into compliance in order to exercise that right isn’t ‘peace’, it’s bullying.”