Time: 12:09 a.m. CEST
Prime minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, indirectly refuted possibility of the U.S. diplomacy engagement in the process of the negotiations with Greece on the name issue during the short news conference with the Assistant Secretary of State, Wess Mitchell, who visited Macedonia on March 13, 2018.
Zaev said Greece and Macedonia expect “U.N. verified document,” responding to a reporter’s question by Tamara Grncarovska of a private broadcaster Telma about Greece’s demand for Macedonia to change its Constitution.
Although Zaev stated that every document is welcomed, he noted that both countries agree the process needs to continue within the United Nations. “Because for both sides we need the verified document in the United Nations through the resolution and voting in the U.N., “he stated.
Zaev expressed his personal believe that, “we are beginning the final phase” that will bring the dignified solution to the issue. Zaev called God in terms “we could tell to our strategic partners there is a solution for preserving the dignity and identity of both sides.”
Assistant Secretary of State Mitchell, who is second day in Balkans after visiting Kosovo on Monday, was not aware of the decision of the U.S. President Donald Trump to fire U.S. Secretary Of State, Rex Tillerson, talked about support that the U.S. is giving to Macedonia on its Western path. Mitchell praised participation of Macedonia in NATO missions and contribution to Afghanistan.
Mitchell said the “U.S. support both countries in efforts to find joint solution.” He did not refute the possibility of American engagement in the process.
“You will see the U.S. strongly committed throughout this process, and you’ll see myself and the administration committed to helping both sides,” Mitchell stated, speaking at the cinema hall of the Club of Parliamentarians in Skopje. Mitchell praised eventual EU and NATO membership for Macedonia, something that current government takes pledges since January.
“I want to be very clear here that the door to NATO membership remains open and reiterate that the U.S. stands by the 2008 Bucharest Summit pledge,” Mitchell stated offering NATO open door policy, but giving no clear promise that something is “tide to an event or date.”