- Monday, October 02, 2017 5:01 PM
Skopje, 2 October 2017 (MIA) - Identity issues should be extracted from the name talks with Greece so that the approximation process resumes and for both countries to have mutual understanding, said Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov at Monday's presentation of the results achieved over the first 100 days from the Government's formation.
FM Dimitrov said talks have not begun yet, but the contours of the process, its form and date are in the pipeline.
"Greece cannot successfully close this row if Macedonia is humiliated, this goes without saying. Even Greece's 'victory' by the veto at the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest is Pyrrhic, because it created a context of a neighbor that has lost its moral compass and shaken up its democracy, becoming a producer of problems and crises", he added.
Dimitrov said there is a need to overcome history so that things move in a positive direction.
"The fear and entrenchment in history makes Macedonia weaker, we must catch the train by protecting our dignity and identity", he stressed.
Regarding the possibility of altering history instruction books for the purpose of good neighborly relations, FM Dimitrov referred to his background, saying he was the son of a refugee from Aegean Macedonia.
"My father came to Macedonia following the Greek Civil War in 1948. I am no historian and would not go further with this. If we want to open up to neighbors and create more room for cooperation, why should we fear Greece's historic narrative about Macedonia and our narrative about Greece", he said.
He announced the quadrilateral meeting in Thessaloniki on October 4-5, upon an invitation of Greek FM Nikos Kotzias, also including counterparts from Albania and Bulgaria. The meeting will focus on security cooperation, cross-border cooperation, energy networking and other topics of current interest.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is holding discussions with the President over the empty ambassadors' seats.
"We are in the final stage of the first round of talks. I inherited a situation where sixty percent of the diplomats are politically appointed, while only 40 percent are career diplomats. We are building consensus for improvement of this balance", said Dimitrov.
Over the past 100 days, the FM paid 31 international visits, meeting with 44 counterparts, signed declarations and political statements on partnership, along with high-level EU and NATO meetings.
"Macedonia has transformed from a country that associates with crisis into a country that associates with hope and opportunity", underlined FM Dimitrov. ik/16:56
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