Macedonian American Community Calls on President Trump to Solve The Macedonian Conundrum – #WeAreMacedonia – Enough is Enough

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Acts 16:9.

In commemoration of 74 years of Macedonia Statehood, #WeAreMacedonia – Enough is Enough global movement is holding a rally on the National Mall (12th Street, between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive) in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to seek full international recognition and use of Macedonia’s rightful name – the Republic of Macedonia. We join thousands of Macedonians in 14 other cities this weekend, including in the capital city of Skopje, Macedonia, to demand that the Macedonian government withdraw from the UN-led name negotiations.

Since its establishment, Macedonia has been an upstanding member of the international community and one of the strongest allies to the United States in Southeast Europe. The Republic of Macedonia is the only country in the world deprived of the right of self-determination.

Every time the U.S. has called upon Macedonia for help, in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, Macedonia has been with the U.S. side by side combating violent extremism and terrorism. For over a century, Macedonians have been fighting for equal human rights. For over a century, Greece’s attempts to strip the Macedonian community of its rightful name, ethnic identity, and cultural heritage have hindered Macedonia’s progress.

In 1993, the United Nations perpetrated overt injustice with imposing additional conditions for Macedonia’s membership notwithstanding the fact that Republic of Macedonia fulfilled the criteria for membership laid out in Article 4 of the UN Charter. This created the Macedonian Conundrum. Despite the fact that 137 nations in the world have now recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, including the United States, Greece still denies official recognition of the state of Macedonia and the Macedonian ethnicity and identity.

The need for Macedonian-Greek dialogue is abundantly clear, yet thus far such negotiations have proved fruitless due to Greek intransigence, absurd demands, and flagrant breach of international law. Over twenty years ago, Greece agreed to allow Macedonian accession to the EU and NATO if Macedonia proceeded under a temporary reference, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly, Greece reneged on this promise, facing no repercussions. In 2011, the International Court of Justice ruled that Greece violated international law by vetoing Macedonia’s NATO membership in 2008. Greece claims that Macedonia has territorial aspirations on Greek lands, yet Macedonia’s constitution specifically states that Macedonia has no territorial aspirations on any of its neighbors including Greece.

Macedonians want EU and NATO membership, but not at the cost of Macedonia’s name and the Macedonian identity and language.

In order to resolve this Macedonian Conundrum, the more than half-a-million-strong Macedonian-American community and the #WeAreMacedonia global movement call upon President Trump and Secretary Tillerson to instruct our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and our Ambassadors to all NATO and EU countries to push for implementation of the following measures in order to ensure a swift and successful resolution to this dispute:

(a) Urge the United Nations Security Council to withdraw Resolution 817;
(b) End the 25 year UN/EU/NATO policy of referring to Macedonia as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and recognize the country by their rightful name, the Republic of Macedonia;
(c) Declare the 1995 UN Interim Accord null and void given the 2011 ICJ ruling;
(d) Dissolve the office of the special envoy to Macedonia, Matthew Nimetz.

Until all of these measures are enacted there will be no real potential for justice to be served for the Macedonian people, which are discriminated on a daily basis in Greece and in Southeast Europe.

As the embodiment of international norms such as self-determination, human rights, and compliance with international law, and inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, the United States has an obligation to transcend national politics and speak out against the injustices being perpetrated against Macedonia and the Macedonian people. We, therefore, urge the Trump Administration to take immediate action on this matter and reaffirm the strong friendship between the U.S. and Macedonia. We believe that this issue is crucial to the future of Macedonia’s role in the international community and U.S.-Macedonia relations.

Stand up for Macedonia! Stand up for Justice! Justice for Macedonia!

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