16 November, 2004
WASHINGTON 16/11/2004 (ANA/A.Ellis)
Archbishop of America Demetrios and representatives of the Greek-American community expressed the community's dissatisfaction with the recent US decision to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) by its constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia," during their meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman on Monday in Washington.
Demetrios expressed optimism regarding the FYROM issue, after the private meeting he had with Powell. Demetrios emphasized that the US "has full knowledge of the difficulties and pain," its decision provoked among Greeks in Greece and abroad and said that he was promised the US would work towards finding a final solution of the name issue and overcoming the problem.
Grossman reassured Dimitrios and representatives of the Greek-American community that Washington will become actively involved in the efforts the United Nations are making for the Greece-FYROM negotiations to result in a mutually-acceptable solution.
The under secretary also said that the US firmly supports the efforts of mediator Matthew Nimetz and the UN and that when Athens and Skopje reach an agreement, Washington will accept whatever name the two countries agree on.
Finally, Grossman said that the US decision to recognize FYROM as "Republic of Macedonia" was not done to "punish" Greece, but to influence the referendum which was to take place a few days later. Later in the evening, Dimitrios and the representatives of the Greek-American community were scheduled to meet with US National Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
* Seventy countries have recognized the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia", 53 of which did so during the tenure of PASOK governments, according to a list submitted by the Foreign Ministry to Parliament on Monday.
The list was submitted, following the request of Parliament Vice President George Sourlas, in order to be made available to the Parliament's friendship groups.
Among the countries which have recognized FYROM as the "Republic of Macedonia," are Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Turkey, U.S.A. North Korea, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Source: Athens News Agency