Tuesday, July 26, 2011

FYROM lobby irked by Bill introduced by U.S House Committee on Foreign Affairs

July 26, 2011
The FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) lobby in the US been irked by the content of a Bill which was introduced to the U.S House of Representatives by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 2583) has proposed a limitation on U.S foreign aid to the FYROM. Further irritating the FYROM lobby, the Bill referred to the FYROM under that name, rather than under the name 'Republic of Macedonia´, as official documents have done since the Bush Administration unilaterally recognised the FYROM as the ´Republic of Macedonia´ name in 2004. The relevant sections of the Bill are as follows:


(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:

(1) Greece has demonstrated an enormous good will gesture in agreeing that Macedonia´´ may be included in the future name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as long as that term is combined with a geographic qualifier that makes it clear that there are no territorial ambitions on the part of the FYROM with regard to the historical boundaries of the Greek province of Macedonia.

(2) The FYROM continues to utilize materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece regarding incendiary rallies, rhetoric, or propaganda, and United Nations-led negotiations between the FYROM and Greece have so far failed to achieve the longstanding goals of the United States and the United Nations to find a mutually acceptable, new official name for the FYROM.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that all United States assistance to the FYROM should be conditioned on the FYROM´s willingness to engage in meaningful discussions with Greece in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 817.

(c) LIMITATION.—The Secretary of State may not use funds authorized to be appropriated under this Act for programs and activities that directly or indirectly promote incendiary rallies, rhetoric, or propaganda by state-controlled agencies of the FYROM or encourage acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred, or hostility, including support for printing and publishing of textbooks, maps, and teaching aids that may include inaccurate information on the histories and geographies of Greece and FYROM.

The official text of this resolution can be found here:http://hcfa.house.gov/112/ROSLEH_078.pdf.

This is seen as yet another setback for Skopje, after Hillary Clinton during her visit to Athens stated sternly that FYROM must work to reach a compromise with Greece if they are to be allowed to accede to the European Union and NATO.
The Australian Macedonian Advisory Council welcomes the Bill introduced to the U.S House and would like to see further actions taken by the U.S Government to discourage the provocative and unproductive attitude of the Government of the FYROM.


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