UN special representative on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz expressed optimism after talks between Greece and Skopje in Vienna on Friday, saying that progress had been made on all fronts.
In statements after meetings between the two foreign ministers, Nimetz said the engagement had been “productive” and added: “This leads [me] to be optimistic about the future.”
In his brief statements, the UN’s long-term special envoy on the name issue noted: “I can say that, without getting into any details, difficult issues were addressed – they’re still on – difficult issues were resolved, and in my opinion, having been at this a very long time, there is a very positive feeling (as) both ministers are focused on stability in the region, on the importance of good relations between the two countries, and I’m hopeful that we can continue to work in a very positive way.”
Speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said the two parties had “identified the main issues for each side and I hope that at our next meeting we will be ready to take a big step”.
Last week, Kotzias said he was striving for an honorable compromise with FYROM after a meeting with his counterpart Nikola Dimitrov in Skopje.
It is thought the minister’s presence marks another step towards a possible ending of the long-running naming dispute between Athens and Skopje over the term ‘Macedonia’.
During that news conference, Kotzias stressed that “doing nothing” on the naming dispute “is not an option.” Politicians have to find solutions, he added.