Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Dimitrov has declared on national television “We are Macedonians. We speak the Macedonian language”.

The statement was made on Tuesday two days ahead of meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias and United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz in Vienna for a new round of negotiations on the ongoing name dispute between Greece and FYROM.

During his appearance, he insisted on the ‘Macedonian’ origins of the people of FYROM.

While he confirmed that there had been progress in the talks with Mr Kotzias, he said that the Greek proposal of the Slavic ‘Gorna Makedonija’ without a translation is “unacceptable”.

“The essence of the compromise is based on two pillars,” Mr Dimitrov said.

“The first is the geographical designation that will differentiate Macedonia from Greek Macedonia. The second is the acceptance – apparently from the Greek side – that their neighbours are Macedonians who speak the Macedonian language.”

He added that the name should be dignified for the people of FYROM.

“Our goal is to achieve a respectable distinction between Macedonia and the region in Greece, if possible, while preserving our identity without being humiliated,” he said.