Macedonian and Greek Foreign Ministers Meet in Thessaloniki

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki met with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias during the conference held in Thessaloniki which also includes Albania and Bulgaria. Poposki and Kotzias were set to discuss improving bilateral relations between Macedonia and Greece and cooperation in joint management of the dramatic migrant crisis. Another issue will be confidence building measures, a set of practical steps put in place to improve the atmosphere between the two countries which has been long affected by Greece's request that Macedonia must change its name.

The meeting is held at a time when over 50,000 migrants are in Greece, awaiting deportation to Turkey, under the agreement reached by the European Union. Over 10,000 of them are in a makeshift camp on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia, where a number of attempts to forcibly push through the border fence were launched.

Macedonia has asked Greece to remove the camp, in order to improve the humanitarian conditions for the migrants staying there, and to reduce the danger of further violent incidents, considering that three people were already drowned in a massive attempt to cross a border river into Macedonia. Greece has responded with accusations over the methods employed by the Macedonian security forces in guarding the border, with tear gas fired when crowds try to storm through the fence


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