Wahlers: Macedonia’s Response to Greek MoU – Positive Step Forward

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Macedonia’s response to Greece’s Memo of Understanding (MoU) is in generally good, positive and solid step forward to resolving the open issues between the two countries, US Ambassador Paul Wohlers told reporters on Thursday.

“It doesn’t offer responses to all issues, which has been expected. It is not a start of some kind of a negotiating process, but just a MoU. When sending Greeks clearly said that it is not a ‘take or leave’ document, but one open for discussion. It is good for Macedonia and Greece to nourish a dialogue, as it is the way to move forward to resolving the issues,” Wohlers said.

He hailed the invitation of UN Envoy in the name issue Matthew Nimetz to Macedonian and Greek negotiators for meetings in the New York on November 19-20.

“The US strongly supports the UN-mediated process and Nimetz, and will support everything that will come out of it, namely everything the two parties will agree upon. We strongly support Macedonia’s EU, NATO integration,” Wohlers said.

Macedonia has no better partner than the US, the Ambassador said, pointing that his country’s foreign policy in regard to Macedonia will not be a subject of changes.

We have been sharing a long history of partnership and it will continue. The US will support the Republic of Macedonia on its road to EU integration, own prosperity, Wohlers said.

The US, he said, has done a lot for the progress of this country via numerous programmes related to the legislation, democracy, education, culture, economy, and people should know that no other state from outside cannot solve all of Macedonia’s problems.

“The name issue is a bilateral one and should be settled between Greece and Macedonia. It is the only obstacle to (Macedonia’s) NATO membership,” Wohlers said.

Asked to comment a possibility Macedonia to get a date for opening of the EU accession talks, Wohlers reaffirmed the US support to that effect.

In regard to possibility Macedonia to hold early parliamentary election along with the local ones, the US Ambassador said it was up to political leaders.

“The country has a potential to do that, but whether is it wise or not – that’s something that should be decided by the people in Macedonia. The leaders and citizens should define what’s in Macedonia’s best interest for a longer period and that has to be the leading point for making of all political decisions,” Wohlers said.

He considered that Macedonia’s accession to the EU, NATO would be a positive momentum for improving the inter-ethnic relations in the country, as well as its ties with the neighbors.

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