Saturday, 23 October 2021 | News today: 0

Merkel on name issue: Compromises always hurt, but they are necessary

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The name dispute between Macedonia and Greece needs to be settled, but there is nothing positive if pressure is being exerted, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference in Berlin with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

“The name dispute between Macedonia and Greece should be settled, any pressure in the negotiations has no benefit. I’m under the impression that the two sides after a long time share the interest to settle the dispute. It is a good precondition,” Merkel said answering journalist question on whether the name issue was tackled in her meeting with Zaev and whether the same issue had been discussed in her phone call with Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras.

Macedonia, Chancellor Merkel said, is closer than ever to settling the name dispute with Greece, which hinders the country’s bid to become a member of the EU and NATO.

“I am very pleased and relieved that .. there is movement in the talks,” Merkel said. “In the last 10 years, the solution has not been as close as now and it would be wonderful if the remaining difficulties can be bridged,” she stated.

The two sides, she noted, are acting responsibly in the renewed negotiations and both Greece and Macedonia are well aware of what they can give in order a compromise to be reached.

Compromises always hurt, but they are necessary, said Merkel.

“It’s the art of diplomacy, and it should not be discussed at news conferences, it needs to be solved behind closed doors. I believe that public statements are more prone to harming the process than to be of any use,” the German Chancellor stated.