Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has backed Skopje over the name dispute with Greece, telling its visiting president Ankara’s position on backing FYROM remains unchanged.
President Gjorge Ivanov was in Turkey this week where he said issues of national identity, language and constitutional changes would only complicate the naming issue.
Speaking at a news conference after a meeting with the Turkish leader on Tuesday, Ivanov said:
“In the 21st century, the sovereign right to self-determination of a country, guaranteed by the United Nations Charter, cannot be challenged by any other country,” Ivanov said. “Addressing issues such as identity, language and the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia does not contribute [to], but rather complicates the process of finding a solution.”
He also thanked Ankara for its support in Skopje’s efforts to join NATO.
“We were the first to recognize the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia,” Erdogan told reporters. “Our positions then are the same with our positions now. Turkey never acts ambiguously on diplomacy issues.”
The Turkish president also said that in addition to being the first country to recognize the constitutional name of the Balkan country, Turkey was the first state to send an ambassador to Skopje.