Greek PM Says Name Issue Solution ahead of Macedonia’s Integrations

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday that the name dispute must be resolved before Macedonia can join the European Union and NATO. Speaking during a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic ahead of a trilateral summit of Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian leaders in Thessaloniki, Tsipras said that there are “decisions of the European Council and the NATO summit that say that the name issue must be resolved first, in a mutually acceptable way”, daily "Kathimerini" reports. He also said that the foreign ministers of both countries are in regular contact, while Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will meet with United Nations envoy Matthew Nimitz, who is mediating the talks over the name issue. The Serbian PM voiced hope that the issue can be solved between the affected countries, saying Belgrade could not solve problems that others have been unable to solve as well. Asked whether he agrees with the statement of Serbian FM Dacic that it was a mistake to recognise Macedonia under the constitutional name 20 years ago or whether there are plans for changes to their position, he said he did not wish to criticise or deny Dacic.

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