31 March, 2008
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Saturday reiterated Athens’ heightened interest in stability and the continuing development of the entire Balkan region, “although on proper foundations”, speaking after an informal EU foreign ministers’ meeting (Gymnich) here.
Asked about her telephone conversation a day earlier with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Bakoyannis said she merely reiterated Greece’s positions regarding stability and development in the Balkans.
“(Greece) … desires, however, that this development and stability come on top of proper foundations. And a proper foundation is solution of long-standing problems, one of which, of course, is the (FYROM) ‘name issue’, over which we are in negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the UN framework.”
In commenting on next week’s Bucharest NATO summit, the Greek FM said the goal is not “expansion for expansion’s sake ... the goal is for NATO expansion leading to relations between allies, ones built on the principles we all believe in.”
Asked if there was still enough time to find a mutually acceptable solution to the nagging “name issue”, Bakoyannis reminded that there are “two to three days before the (NATO) summit, but we will continue with negotiations … problems of the past should not get in the way of relations enjoyed by allies, which must be based on very strong foundations. We will continue negotiations until a mutually acceptable solution is found.”
Source: Athens News Agency