US Official Says American Diplomacy Solved Greece-FYROM Name Feud

August 23, 2018

The deal’s not ratified yet, but a top American official said the United States was behind pushing Greece to reach an agreement changing the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and get the country into NATO.

The US backed the a settlement between Greece and FYROM as part of a campaign to stymie Russian interests in the Balkans, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said.

“We have placed particular emphasis on bolstering the states of frontline Europe that are most susceptible to Russian geopolitical pressure,” Mitchell told a Senate foreign relations committee hearing on Aug. 21.

Under the deal, FYROM will be called North Macedonia but its citizens allowed to call themselves Macedonians and with a Macedonian language and identity, conceded by the anti-nationalist Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

That was done to end a 27-year name feud that began when a New Democracy government allowed the new country emerging from the collapse of Yugoslavia to take the name of Macedonia, an abutting ancient Greek province, in what was supposed to be a temporary acronym.

But after successive FYROM governments began claiming Greek lands, including the real Macedonia and second-largest city and major port of Thessaloniki, Greece used a veto to keep its neighbor out of NATO and from beginning European Union accession talks.

United Nations envoy Matthew Nimetz, an American lawyer who had failed for two decades to find a solution, helped broker the new deal to get FYROM into NATO, which Russian diplomats in Greece tried to foil, the government said in expelling two of them.

Mitchell said that, “In the Balkans, American diplomacy has played a lead role in resolving the Greece-Macedonia name dispute,” referring to FYROM as Macedonia and not North Macedonia, perpetuating the problem Greece has faced with more than 140 countries calling FYROM as Macedonia too.

The deal has been approved twice by FYROM’s Parliament, the second time because the country’s President, Gjorge Ivanov, who opposes it, refused to sign. With the second okay he must sign under the law and then a referendum will be held on Sept. 30.

If ratified, it will go to the Greek Parliament, likely either later in the autumn or early in 2019 but Tsipras, seeing 62-68 percent of Greeks opposed – along with his own junior coalition partner, the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) – has barred a referendum.


SERRES - Two men were arrested in the northern Greek city of Serres on Tuesday in relation to an explosion at the city's 9th primary school that killed an 11-year-old student and injured two boys aged 6 and 10.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Warnock or Walker? Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat

ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are set to decide the final Senate contest in the country, choosing between Democratic Sen.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is still actively searching for ways to safeguard abortion access for millions of women, even as it bumps up against a complex web of strict new state laws enacted in the months after the Supreme Court stripped the constitutional right.

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officers who defended the U.

Τhey're a little corny, a little too happy, and way too similar.

BEIRUT — Commercial brakes produced by a Dutch company to be used in ambulances in Turkey instead ended up in missiles used by Turkey in attacks in northeastern Syria, a report released Tuesday said.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.