Saturday, March 29, 2008

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is clear as about FYROM Issue.......

Ladies and Gentlemen MPs,

Today, intensive efforts are being made to resolve an issue that has been pending for 17 years regarding FYROM’s name. We have taken timely, courageous, sincere, and constructive decisions. We clearly spoke of a mutually acceptable solution on the basis of a truly compound name, with a clear qualification and valid for everyone. We took a huge step towards meeting the other side. There has been nothing from Skopje but messages of a persisting intransigence that is alien to the European mindset.

Precious time was thus lost. Not because of Greece. These past few months, we have responsibly made it clear that without a mutually acceptable solution the road to NATO cannot be opened for our neighbouring country. It cannot be invited to join. Allied relations cannot be built on pending issues with a negative impact on neighbourly relations. Relations of solidarity cannot be built. Stability and cooperation cannot be founded.

  • The conclusion from the latest meeting between the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Greece-FYROM talks and the representatives of the two countries is that we are some distance from reaching a mutually acceptable solution. The conclusion is that efforts within the framework of the United Nations must continue. We have addressed – and are still addressing – the issue in a responsible and determined manner, which no one can call into question.
  • We stated clearly and responsibly that we are pursuing a solution that cannot serve as a means of support for unacceptable and historically groundless policies; that cannot be used as a vehicle for nationalist and irredentist mindsets; that cannot serve mindsets of instability, mindsets dating back to the Balkans’ worst days, mindsets that do not comply with the European future.
  • We clearly and unequivocally said that we need a solution on the basis of a substantially compound name. We explained that such a solution cannot be restricted to a description of the neighbouring country’s system of government. That is of no concern to us. Nor can we have a solution that is just on paper. There cannot be a false solution. We need a solution that is clear, practical, thorough and feasible in all aspects. A solution that is valid for everyone. A solution for every use. At the same time, we have made it clear that simple statements of agreement do not suffice. A solution is needed that will not permit any violations or retractions. A solution ratified by the UN Security Council. A solution with the “final seal” of the United Nations. The state of affairs and any domestic developments in the neighbouring country cannot serve as an alibi or an excuse. Manoeuvres and political expediencies are not acceptable. A false solution is no solution at all.

Our positions are clear and firm. Our positions are responsible and constructive. Greeks want to have their neighbours as partners and allies. But allied and partner relations cannot be built on serious pending issues. The objectives of stability and progress are not served in this way. This is clear, self-evident, unequivocal.

[Excerpts from Prime Minister Mr. Kostas Karamanlis’ speech on foreign policy before the governing party’s Parliamentary Group]

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