|In a brief statement following the ruling, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen took note of the decision, but declared that the order "does not affect the decision taken by NATO Allies at the Bucharest summit in 2008 ... an invitation will be extended to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached." |
Greek Foreign Minister Dimas emphasises importance of NATO stance on FYROM accession
The doors of both NATO and the European Union "remain open as soon as the candidate countries fulfill the criteria set by the two organisations," Greece 's Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas stressed on Thursday, underlining that it was up to the countries themselves to exploit this positive message.
Commenting on the ruling issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case brought against Greece by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Dimas emphasised the importance of NATO's common position on the issue of accepting FYROM in the Alliance , which he said reaffirmed the unanimous decisions taken by NATO member-states in Bucharest , Strasbourg and Lisbon .
The foreign minister noted that the last three days were crucial for Greek foreign policy issues and that the country had successfully tackled difficult situations. He especially underlined three points that he said must be clear to all sides concerning the name dispute with FYROM.
Dimas stressed that Greece must remain dedicated to a swift resolution of the name issue via negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. He noted that a solution would allow the two countries to fully exploit the potential of their relations, boosting regional cooperation and European integration in the region.
He also underlined that the name issue could not be resolved "tangentially", something also confirmed by the ICJ ruling that called on the two sides to negotiate in good faith.
"It is a matter of political will and I repeat that Greece has this. I hope that the FYROM government will display the same will," he added.
Dimas repeated that Greece will continue to do its utmost to promote the completion of European integration in the region and announced that Athens would be undertaking initiatives in this direction in the coming months, as part of the preparation for Greece 's EU presidency.
"We would like the active participation of all our partners in the western Balkans in this effort," he said.
Source: The Jurist and ANA/MPA