21February2018

Positions prior to Nimetz meeting Being adjusted by Dimitrov and Kotzias

14022018 2

FM Nikola Dimitrov and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, met on Monday night in Vienna. At the meeting, the positions prior to Tuesday’s meeting with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz were being adjusted. According to Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, the northern neighbour should show that the government’s rhetoric has changed. “The ball is currently in the court of our neighbours, who will need to show in practice, too, that the government’s rhetoric has changed, which can lead to tangible results in the relations of the two countries,” he told Alpha 989 radio. Regarding the different stands in the two countries as far as a change of the Macedonian Constitution is concerned, he stated that it was subject of the negotiations and once again reiterated the Greek positions. Commenting on the latest developments in the dispute, Bulgarian FM Ekaterina Zakharieva said she was satisfied with the progress in the Athens-Skopje talks. “That is a bilateral issue and let’s leave Athens and Skopje engage in the negotiations under UN auspices,” she stated, wishing success in the talks. Commenting on the stand presented by Yiannis Boutaris that Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki should be renamed, New Democracy’s Georgios Koumoutsakos, who is in charge of foreign policy at the party, said the Thessaloniki Mayor he should leave diplomacy to diplomats and deal with his competences. Thessaloniki Councillor Stavros Kalafatis, who is part of the opposition’s group, called on Boutaris to resign. After the reactions, Boutaris said his statements had been disinterested, adding that he had never proposed and was not proposing a change. As he stated, just one part of the statements have been reported, not the full stands.

(Kanal 5; Sitel; Telma; Alfa; MTV1; MIA; Makfax)

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