As momentum builds over a resolution for the ‘Macedonia’ name dispute, a meeting has been scheduled between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Zoran Zaev for Wednesday to discuss the matter.
The first official meeting between the two leaders, it will take place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“We expect progress towards reaching a commonly acceptable solution,” said Greece’s government spokesperson, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.
“The solution must be found on the basis of a composite name, with a geographical or time-related definition, which will apply to all, making it clear that nobody has a claim on the lands or history of other peoples.”
In an interview with the press on Sunday, Prime Minister Tsipras said that if there is an opportunity for a solution that “it would be a national stupidity not to make good use of it” but added that he understood the “concerns and sensitivities” of northern Greeks.
If a deal is reached in UN talks, it will be put before the Greek parliament for official approval.
Meanwhile it is in FYROM’s favour to resolve the matter given that Greece’s objection to it becoming independent in 1991 has since impinged on the country’s bid time again to join both NATO and the European Union.
The scheduled meeting follows on from Sunday’s gathering in Thessaloniki, which saw tens of thousands of Greeks turn out to protest against any deal which would allow FYROM to keep the name ‘Macedonia’.