Two U.S. Senators block the nomination of the ambassador designate to Skopje.
A move is seen as a warning from Greek Lobby, while FYROMʼs leadership speaks about a “Macedonian minority” in Greece
Washington, D.C. By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The nomination process of the ambassador designate to Skopje Philip Reeker was put on hold on Wednesday by two members of the Senate who decided to stay anonymous. The move is seen as a strong message from the Greek Lobby to Bush administration, to change position in the dispute of Greece and FYROM over the name issue, but also be positive in other issues of major concern for the community.
Greek News had pointed out last week that Philip Reekerʼs testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee didnʼt satisfy many of its members.
Reeker had said “We do not consider that the dispute between Athens and Skopje over Macedoniaʼs name should have prevented Macedonia from receiving an invitation”.
He has also refused to offer his comments on some of the provocations of the leadership of Skopje, such as the renaming of their airport “Alexander the Great”.
Greek American leaders such as Andy Manatos of the Coordinating Effort of Hellenes, and Tasos Zambas, Alternate president of PSEKA, were working last week informing members of Congress on the issue.
Greek News was unable to receive any official statement on the issue.
“We do not know who has a hold, it is each Senatorʼs purview to decide whether they want to publicize holds” , a senior aide to a U.S. Senator told us.
In the months followed the Greek veto in Bucharest, both the U.S. – Greek relations and the relations between the two foreign ministers remain strained.
“We do want to send a clear message to Bush administration, to change its policy vis-à-vis Greece an Cyprus. We hope the same for the McCain campaign”, a Greek American involved with lobby told Greek News.
Greek American community felt betrayed when President Bush decided to recognize Skopje as the “Republic of Macedonia” four days after the 2004 presidential election.