Kotzias – Dačić: A step forward in the Greece-Macedonia name negotiations

Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, after meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dačić in Belgrade, said that the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia had taken a step forward, and that the key to resolving the problem was “realism, pragmatism and understanding that compromises need to be made”, reported the Serbian media.

“We need to make compromises, but not “rotten” compromises, those that will please both sides. A compromise means that both sides should realize that they can not get everything they want, but that they should benefit”, said the Greek foreign minister.

Kotzias added that he hopes the two sides in the negotiations will understand this and that there will be positive results.

Meanwhile, the Serbian foreign minister said that it would be most effective and beneficial for the talks to be conducted directly and that both sides should think of the common interest of the entire region. Dačić also stressed that Serbia understands Greece’s position and repeated its long-held view that it was a mistake that the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, stressing that it was a “misguided and wrong step”.

“Skopje’s behavior towards Serbia and the Serbian national and state interest was not adequate. They recognized unilateral acts”, he said, referring to the recognition of Kosovo by the Republic of Macedonia.

According to Dačić, Serbia wants the name issue to be resolved, however it can not offer much help, except to offer the two parties a location to meet on occasion in Serbia.