Greek government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos walked out during a 60-country summit when the United States accepted the name “Macedonia” instead of FYROM on the list of countries that pledged to fight against the Islamic State.
After the summit, the Greek Foreign Ministry issued an official announcement, complaining to the U.S. side. The announcement explained that Venizelos left the summit in protest, since the name of Greece’s northern neighbor, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has not been established yet and the two countries are still in the process of negotiations. Furthermore, according to a decision by the United Nations Security Council, the name of FYROM has not been decided until the two countries agree.
Ministers from 60 countries met in Brussels yesterday after a U.S. initiative to form an official coalition against the Islamic State. According to Greece, the U.S. did not follow the formal procedure of the United Nations to call each country under its official name. FYROM went to the meeting under its present name, but in the joint 60-country statement, it signed as “Macedonia.” FYROM officials said that “Macedonia” is the country’s constitutional name.
After Venizelos left in protest, Greece was represented by NATO representative in Brussels Michalis Diamesis.
After the 60 countries signed the treaty, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to continue the campaign against the Islamic State “as long as it takes.”