30 June, 2008
The United States did not have some separate plan or proposal for resolving the dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name issue, U.S. State Department official Rosemary DiCarlo told a private local radio station on Sunday.
"Our own proposal is support for the negotiating process under the aegis of the United Nations and of ambassador Matthew Nimetz," said the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian affairs.
She also advised Skopje not to be disappointed if the dispute over the name was not resolved by July 9 and the country did not receive an invitation to join NATO, noting that the issue was a difficult one for both sides in the dispute.
DiCarlo said that Greece and FYROM had been talking in the meantime and were gradually coming closer in their positions.
"This is why continued dialogue is essential, as well as the greatest possible flexibility by both sides," she added.
The U.S. official also appeared confident that a Democrat victory in U.S. presidential elections would not substantially change Washington's policy toward FYROM and the region, noting that there was a large degree of consensus on a great number of issues between the two main parties.
"Our foreign policy has been based on this principle for several years. American policy in the region during the last three administrations, under three U.S. presidents, remains the same," she pointed out.
DiCarlo expressed "disappointment" at the incidents that marred the recent parliamentary elections in FYROM and said she expected that these would be investigated and that those responsible would be punished.
Questioned about policy regarding Kosovo's independence, DiCarlo said that Washington would like to see this recognised by as many countries as possible and that the government in Skopje must make its own decision about this, adding that the country's present leadership had made it clear that it was not an matter of 'if' but 'when'.
Source: Athens News Agency