© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
02 August, 2001
The need for a compromise solution acceptable to all sides in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), was stressed after talks on Wednesday between Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his visiting Albanian counterpart Pascal Milo on Rhodes.
Milo, whose country currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI), is currently on a tour of Balkan capitals and was in Turkey earlier in the day.
The two ministers said the FYROM crisis had dominated their talks, while Papandreou praised the Albanian government for its moderate, European stance to the crisis.
The Greek minister also stressed the fact that Balkan countries had succeeded in formulating a joint position on how this crisis should be handled, which included respect for the inviolability of borders, condemnation of the actions of Albanian extremists and resolving the area's problems in a European framework.
Balkan countries, Papandreou continued, should send the message that they can rally around common principles. He noted that the solution found for FYROM should ensure stability in the region.
On his part, Milo said that he was prepared to travel to Skopje to act as a mediator in the next few days, as an official of SECI's Albanian presidency, if this would help in achieving a solution.
Asked what solution would satisfy Albania, Milo replied that all citizens of FYROM should feel equal in a multiethnic and democratic society.
He said he had spoken with Papandreou about the situation in Albania following recent elections, and expressed conviction that the new government would continue to view Greece as Albania's strategic partner.
"There is no other alternative for us but to maintain the best possible relations with Greece," he said.
The two men also discussed the legalization process for immigrants in Greece, many of whom are Albanians, and Milo conveyed his country's thanks.
The Albanian minister also noted Greece's aid toward Albania in the past 10 years and its assistance in Albania's course toward the European Union.
Source: Athens News Agency