Together with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, we reviewed possible options for creative solutions which the Macedonian side presented from the last phase of the negotiations. What follows, are consultations in both countries with relevant political figures.
This was announced today by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, after a meeting with Tsipras in Sofia, which lasted an hour and a half.
Responding to a a journalist’s question regarding the proposed creative solutions, Zaev said that “one of the options is acceptable to both sides”.
“It was important to acknowledge all the success that the ministers have achieved so far, as they are huge and significant. When we get to the end of this whole process, we will then see how important they actually are. We talked and essentially looked at a several options. One of the options is acceptable to both sides. We will continue with consultations at home with the relevant institutions, and we should probably have a solution. After all we have achieved, we acknowledge that we stand together as prime ministers. After looking at several options, we were able to established one option. However, we must be careful how it will be implemented. We will discuss these options with the presidents of the states and other leaders, as well as with the opposition”, said Zaev.
Zaev said that the friendship between Macedonia and Greece is stronger today than ever before.
“At today’s meeting with the Prime Minister of Greece, Macedonia’s friend, Alexis Tsipras, we noted together the progress made so far in the process of finding a solution to the dispute over the name of our country. We are resolving the dispute in order to strengthen the dignity and identity of citizens in both countries. I also spoke with French President, Emanuel Macron, and Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding these topics”, he added.
He said that both leaders acknowledged the progress and achievements that had been reached.
“After going through several options, we put together an option that will be acceptable to both sides. We must pay attention to how this will go through the institutions. We must talk with the presidents of the two countries, with other leaders, and with the leaders of the opposition”, added Zaev.
Answering a journalist’s question about a possible delay in the decision, Zaev said that if no solution is found, then the decision will be postponed.
“I said that we built a friendship that is irreversible and that friendship will grow. It would be nice to have a solution that would be acceptable to both sides, and to have it now. As you know, at the end of June we have the European Council and a solution now, would be of further encouragement to the Council. There is a NATO Summit in July, and it would be great to conclude this issue by then. If it is not possible, we will continue in our efforts to search for a solution until we agree. It is worthwhile to continue because a lot has been resolved and in the end we found a option that could be accepted by both parties, given the aspirations of both sides. If it is properly confirmed and accepted in both countries internally, we would to then be able make it official”, concluded Zaev.