The agreement between Athens and Skopje to resolve the name dispute has created a “historic crossroads” that requires “historic responsibility to do the right thing” by all involved, FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said here on Tuesday, in an exclusive statement to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency about the agreement and the Western Balkans Conference.
Dimitrov said that he fully agreed with European Commission Vice President and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini that the deal between Athens and Skopje was a “historic step”. He was also confident that the public on both sides will be “won over” to back the deal.
“I fully agree with Federica, it is definitely a historic step. When I presented the agreement in European Affairs committee in our parliament in Skopje I quoted the last sentence of the introduction of the report on the Balkan wars, by Carnegie in 1914… that there is no exit or salvation for small nations or big countries but true conciliation and unification.
“I think there is nothing more natural for our two peoples than to be really close; I think this unlocks a huge potential. We can’t change our geography, we can’t change our history, but we can work together to create our common future.
“So I think we will win the people, with some effort in terms of explaining; It’s really a compromise so we have unhappy people on both sides. But I think we created a piece of Europe in our part of the Balkans.”
Asked whether the government in Skopje had overcome the problems with its opposition, Dimitrov stressed the need to “focus on the country”.
“I think if we all focus on the country, and because it’s a historic crossroads, it takes a historic responsibility to do the right thing. To think about the country, less about the party or our own political futures and we are going to be able to do this,” he replied.