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Athens, Skopje Mayors in Joint Appeal Over 'Macedonia' Dispute

Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis (L) and his Skopje counterpart Petre Silegov.

The mayors of the capital cities of Greece and FYROM appealed on Thursday for a viable solution to the naming dispute between the two countries.
In an article published in leading newspapers in Greece and FYROM, Giorgos Kaminis and Petre Silegov wrote that the meeting of the country’s two prime ministers in Davos, Switzerland had created encouraging feelings of hope.
“The two countries should not miss again the historic opportunity for a solution,” said the mayors, ahead of a meeting in Athens on Friday.
Referring to the reactions within the two countries on a compromise solution, they say that these “emotional reactions and concerns must be respected and not ignored”.
“At the same time, we need to explain to [opponents] the necessity of a compromise solution, as well as the advantages that the solution will bring to our countries and the lives of our people.”
They also note that “the cities of Athens and Skopje are determined to build bridges of cooperation and to be the driving force that will bring the two neighboring countries closer together”.
It is necessary, they stress, “to abandon the irredentist claims, to isolate incendiary voices and to leave behind the mistakes of the past. We have to replace tension and distrust with pragmatism and economic growth”.
The article was published simultaneously in the Greek newspaper Ta Nea and FYROM’s Sloboden Pecat.

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