UN mediator Nimetz: Failure to pass 'name issue' agreement could lead to another 25 years before resolution

Wednesday, 05 September 2018 19:56

The most experienced of the "old hands" involved over the past quarter century in the "name issue", US diplomat Matthew Nimetz, reiterated this week that if a Sept. 30 referendum in the neighboring former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) rejects the Prespes (Prespa) agreement then it may take another 25 years to resolve the thorny difference.

Nimetz, who has served as the UN's special mediator on the issue since 1999, told the well-known Balkan Investigative Reporting Network that "I hope the agreement will pass, and I think it will pass in both countries, because it is a fair and honorable solution that meets the essential interests of both countries, but if it doesn’t get approved I do not see another solution in the near term,” he said, adding:

“It has taken 25 years to achieve this agreement, it may take another 25 years. And a lot of people will lose interest if this does not pass in your country ... If you reject it, I fear you would be viewed by many as telling the world: ‘We are not interested in a compromise solution, we are not interested to solve this issue with Greece, we are not interested in the EU process, we are not interested in NATO, we are not interested in solving problems.’ The rest of the world is likely to say: ‘OK, these folks are not interested in solving anything, so why should we worry about their situation? … So it may be many, many years before anything resumes on this issue, if it is turned down," he was quoted as saying.

The interview was posted on Wednesday.

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