Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Papandreou and Gruevski meet

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Nikola Gruevski, his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), met for half an hour on the sidelines of the European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday.

It was the first meeting between the two since Papandreou took over as Prime Minister and the first meeting between prime ministers of the two countries since March 2006.

Both agreed that a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute is a priority for both countries. In conversation with Mr. Gruevski, Mr. Papandreou is reported to have said that Greece intends to play a leading role in the EU accession of southeastern European states but that a resolution of the name dispute which respects Greece’s positions of a name with a geographical qualifier is a condition for accession talks.

The meeting followed on from the lightning three day visit of Mr. Gruevski to Australia earlier in the week.

The purpose of his visit was the signing of a bilateral Social Security Agreement between the FYROM and Australia.

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