BOSTON – Former president of the Pan-Macedonian Association of America Dr. Seraphim Papajiannis from Boston corresponded with the late President George H.W. Bush about the name of Macedonia.
Dr. Papajiannis, a well-known physician with 48 years of service at three Hospitals in the greater Boston area and former medical consultant to the U.S. Federal Government, sent a letter on March 26, 1992 to the late President George Bush expressing his concerns about the pursuits of the Skopje government.
At the time, Dr. Papajiannis who was governor of Pan-Macedonian Association, New England District, wrote to President Bush that “as American citizens, we are deeply concerned with the rapid developments during recent months that may affect world peace. Of particular concern is the crisis in Yugoslavia and the brutal civil war that had broken out as several components declared their independence.”
He also wrote that “one of the component republics of Yugoslavia is the so called “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” which was so renamed by the late Marshal Tito in 1944 from “South Serbia” or Vardaska Benovinn” in order to serve his own political expansive purpose. He misappropriated the Hellenic name “Macedonia” and invented a ne new “ethnic” group of so-called Macedonians which is Slavic and totally unrelated to the genuine historic Macedonians who were one of the Hellenic tribes.”
Dr. Papajiannis also stated in his letter that “during recent decades they have been engaging in a world-wide campaign promoting the mythical conception of a new “Macedonian Nation” which is not Hellenic, trying to alter the historic facts; and claiming the Hellenic Macedonian Cultural Heritage as their “own”. It is so ridiculous that one may discount it as nonsense, but it has been cause for considerable friction that is threatening the stability of the region.”
Dr. Papajiannis told President Bush that “The United States Government should not recognize or support any non-Hellenic entity that is using the Hellenic name of “Macedonia”. Macedonia was a Hellenic nation. Macedonia was and is a region in Northern Greece or Hellas, and their Macedonian name belongs only to Greece or Hellas ethnically, historically and traditionally.”
On April 15, 1992 President Bush replied to Dr. Papajiannis through the State Department stating among other things that “as President Bush assured Greek-American Leaders during his March 25 meeting with them, the United States is sensitive to the Greek government’s concerns about the potential for instability on its northern border as violence in Yugoslavia continues. The President reiterated both to the Greek government and to the Greek-American community, our continued support for Greek territorial integrity and the inviolability of its borders.”
In the letter which was signed by Laura A. Clerici, Deputy Director Office of Eastern European and Yugoslav Affairs, it was stated that “we have sought and received assurances from President Gligorov that Macedonia has no territorial claim against any neighboring state, considers the borders of those states inviolate and is fully committed to the values and principles underlying the CSCE and to the EC-sponsored Peace Conference.”