O’Neal: You are Macedonians, and your language is Macedonian, the name issue must be resolved

You are Macedonians, and your language is Macedonian. After 20 years of unsuccessful negotiations, Macedonia should seek recognition by the General Assembly for UN membership under its constitutional name, Ambassador Robin O’Neal and first mediator in the Greek Macedonian dispute for the program “Voice of the People”.



Regarding the statement of Greek Prime Minister Andonis Samaras that the Macedonian language is invented work of communists and had never heard of such language, the British diplomat, with reviews: .. “communism asserts that invented many things, but I’ve never heard that invented language”.

In this context, he explains that comments of Samaras for Macedonian language only showed how hostile is the attitude of the Greek government towards Macedonia.

- Perhaps he hopes that with these statements will get support from nationalist elements from Bulgaria. This shows how bad is for Macedonia to allow such fanciful dispute to be dragged on for years. It is difficult to find rational solution, says O’Neal.


Because of all this, he believes that Macedonia should seek assistance from the international community by addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which will express gratitude to Nimitz for his efforts over the past twenty years to solve the name dispute, but also regret that they are not leading to any progress towards solution.

- Government of Republic of Macedonia is enormously grateful to the Nimitz, for all his deeds, but must regretfully conclude that, twenty years have passed without any progress, and that there are no prospects in finding solution to the problem in this way. Therefore, they propose to inform the UN Secretary General for this conclusion, and seek recognition by the General Assembly for Macedonia’s membership in the UN under its constitutional name as resolved by the Macedonians, who on September 8 1991 decided, at the date of independence, and which is recognized by international law.

He also referred to comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the possible compromise.

- The law can ask compromise situations where we have real issue. However, in this case, there is no real dispute over the name Macedonia, as I explained here, says O’Neal.

As for Macedonia’s membership in EU and NATO, he added, the International Court of Justice ruled that under the Interim Accord between Greece and Macedonia, Macedonia has the right to apply to these organizations under the FYROM and Greece cannot oppose this.

- In this situation I think there is commitment by the leading countries of NATO and the EU, the U.S., Germany and UK put pressure on Greece to end obstructions for  Macedonia to become member of these two organizations. This would reinforce stability in the region and would contribute to greater progress. Such admission of Macedonia to these organizations should be realized under appropriate name under international law: Republic of Macedonia, Ambassador O’Neal is decisive.

On the issue, whether the additional conditions for admission of Macedonia to the United Nations are in accordance with the articles of the UN Charter and the comment of Nimitz in Skopje that UN is not negotiating on identities and that term refers to the name, Ambassador O’Neal with response: … “Macedonia is member of the UN. Greece believes that there is dispute between her and Republic of Macedonia over the name Macedonia. Under international law, every state has the right to use the name they  chose. However, the UN called on both countries to resolve this dispute, and Nimitz worked with great patience for many years to find acceptable solution for both countries. Throughout the period Greece was ready to show interest in any name, which would represent kind of compromise.”

Nimitz’s comments during each visit to Skopje, in his opinion, were correct and reasonable. He hopes that Athens has sincere willingness to find compromise, but he said, he fears that he would have to conclude that there is no hope for the success of Nimitz’s mediation.

- The truth is that Greece does not want to see solution to this issue, for reasons that are not entirely in the domain of internal Greek politics. Name Republic of Macedonia never for these 24 years did any harm to Greece, nor had detrimental impact on stability of Greece. In this situation, it has come the time for Macedonia to addressed the UN and to explain that after 20 years this problem, which has never been threat to international peace and security (Article 2 (3) of the UN Charter), due to the wider interests of stability in the Balkans should be subject to decision by the General Assembly of the UN vote, says British diplomat.

In other words, Macedonia should ask the UN General Assembly to accept Macedonia in the organization with appropriate international name, Republic of Macedonia. This he suggests, will not make harder for Macedonia to join the EU and NATO, but will facilitate this process.

And according to international law professor and longtime researcher on the name issue, Igor Janev there is no political solution through negotiations name with Greece.

- Diplomatic recognition of this kind is impossible. Given that there is no political solution, the output must be requested by Resolution of the UN General Assembly, which will change the denomination in the FYROM constitutional name Republic of Macedonia, or to initiate obtaining advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice for additional illegal Terms of Republic of Macedonia. By getting the Advisory Opinion of the International Court, and its acceptance by the UN General Assembly, it should replace (Resolution) illegal reference to constitutional name Republic of Macedonia, explains Janev in the statement for “The voice of the people.”
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