FYROM Foreign Minister: We will Negotiate with Greece in Good Faith

“We will enter negotiations with Greece with good faith and without fear, in an effort to overcome our differences,” said FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov on Sunday.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia official spoke about the ongoing negotiations with Greece over the name dispute. FYROM can not become a NATO member unless the naming issue is resolved.

“If there is a defeated side it will not be good for the winner or for the loser, because terrible nationalism will develop. We need to find a way where both sides can come out with the feeling that they have protected what is most important. We will not negotiate with fear and we can not come out of this with a solution that will not cover our main concerns”, Dimitrov said.

FYROM has claimed Greek historical figures as its own, such as Alexander the Great. In fact, the previous government has named the Skopje airport “Alexander the Great” while history books speak of Greek territories that supposedly belong to FYROM.

When asked how prepared his government is to change names of the highways and monuments and revise history textbooks, Dimitrov said those issues had not been discussed on a government level.

“I think it is crucial to understand that patriotism means concern for the state and it is crucial that we take away the arguments of those political forces in Greece who have an interest in holding the blockade. Basically, in the statement by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, he had or at least implied that this would be a two-way process”, the FYROM foreign minister said.