Nimetz: No dramatic changes over name issue expected in next few months

Matthew Nimetz, personal representative of the UN Secretary General in the name issue, said Monday that no dramatic changes should be expected in the next few months.

"It is very heartening to see the first visit of the (Macedonian) FM to be in Athens. I know (Greek) FM Kotzias plans a trip here, so I think we have to consider ways of intensifying the process. I think in the next few months we should not expect dramatic changes. I do not think it is the right time to make definitive, concrete proposals, we need a period where the two sides can talk to each other, there can be intelligent conversations, we have a new government here, we have a new context in the region, so I think things will move along, but I do not see any dramatic events in the next few months", Nimetz told reporters after a meeting with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

He is encouraged by the fact that there is serious interest and willingness to think about the issue.

"We need progress in general to solve this problem, meaning both sides need to think very seriously about their positions and also listen very carefully to the other side. I am heartened here by the PM and FM, being open-minded about this issue. I have had meetings with Foreign Minister Kotzias and he is a very serious person. Now there is a new situation and we will see what will happen", stressed Nimetz.

Talks with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and FM Dimitrov did not focus on concrete, new name concepts.

"We talked about the process, more intensified relationship between the two neighbors, and the general position of the government here to open to neighbors and solve problems in the region", added Nimetz.

The UN envoy planned originally to go directly to Athens, but because of meetings on Cyprus he is rescheduling that meeting for a little later.


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