Athens: Measures of confidence scheduled for April, will begin with opening crossing near Prespa


Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kodzias sees an opportunity to correct cracks in ties and establish a good foundation for better communication, trust and the possibility of more constructive talks to resolve the name dispute in the confidence building measures with Macedonia.

In his address to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, Kodzias announced that confidence building measures would be submitted and discussed with the Macedonian side in April and, mainly, would refer to the smaller and more practical things that can neutralize part of the differences and tensions that exist between the two countries.

– Measures of confidence, above all, will be to solve some practical issues, second – to build better trust and third – to facilitate negotiations at the United Nations to the extent that it would be possible – said Kodzias in front of Committee, speaking about the attitudes regarding the behavior towards Macedonia.

He noted that these measures are needed to find a modus vivendi and to start a dialogue between the two countries, and to put an end to Macedonian ideas that Greece would like to come to the disintegration of our country. Greek Foreign Minister noted that there are already some considerations and a list of measures that will be submitted to the Macedonian side. As an example which can be considered was pointed Macedonian request to open a border crossing near Prespa, for which he thinks it would be a good opportunity to develop tourism, economic and social cooperation in the region and to strengthen the trust between the citizens of both countries.

– The people of FYROM thinks we want destroy their country. I do not have that attitude, nor do I think anyone else supports it. Some think that we want to extinguish their existence, but neither believe nor want that. We need to find a modus vivendi as to start a dialogue with this country. Would the dialogue solve the problems? No. But we need to try and provide some measure of confidence – Kodzias said. He explained that the measures relate mainly to the smaller issues to ease the tense atmosphere and create a better climate between the two countries.

Kodzias again mentioned that the big problem behind the name behind is the irredentism of the Macedonian government and all activities connected and driven by irredentist tendencies.

– Of course it would take a few minutes to understand that such a claim is far from the reality on the field – stated Macedonian MFA for META.

Two days ago, MFA for META announced that there are currently no talk of confidence building measures since Athens needs one month to come up with draft-measures.

– There is no parallel dialogue or dialogue within the UN. In fact, it seem that it is being worked on creating a perception that the process progresses. In practice, so far there is no concrete sign that in Athens there is a desire to have an intense dialogue on ending the dispute and the blockades – MFA said, adding that Greece is caught in the trap of the previously set blockades.

– Our interest is to overcome this situation of illegal blockade and open as more bridges as possible with our southern neighbor. It is our interest. Realistic approach and will are necessary – reads the statement of MFA.

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