Wednesday, January 26, 2005

State Departament Daily Press COnference - Kosovo and Macedonia

QUESTION: According to an official announcement yesterday by the UN, "The Secretary General met with Ilinka Mitreva, Foreign Minister of FYROM, on Monday, January 24th. The Foreign Minister briefed the Secretary General on the status of negotiations between FYROM and Greece, on the name issue, and the demarcation of the Kosovo section of FYROM's border with Serbia and Montenegro." What is the U.S. position on those two issues?

MR. BOUCHER: What was the second issue?

QUESTION: The demarcation of the Kosovo section.

MR. BOUCHER: Demarcation?

QUESTION: Yes. To drawing a line.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know our exact position on demarcation of borders, but if it's a matter that's being handled with the UN, we support -- I'm sure we support whatever the UN's doing in that regard.

I don't want to get too flip here, but we have worked very closely with the UN on these matters.


MR. BOUCHER: As far as the name issue, I think we've made very clear that we were going to use the name Macedonia, Republic of Macedonia, for the Republic of Macedonia, but that we also continue to support very strongly the effort that was being made with the United Nations to come up with an internationally acceptable name. We look forward to using whatever the outcome of those discussions would be, using the name that came out of those discussions. So we certainly welcome the continuation of those discussions and the efforts that the parties are making and the UN is making to come up with an internationally acceptable name.

QUESTION: So you are going to accept any outcome to change the legal policy from the so-called Republic of Macedonia to the new name?

MR. BOUCHER: We'll adopt whatever name comes out of those international discussions. We've made that clear before.

QUESTION: And also, last week, the Greek Ambassador, Alex Mallias, M-a-double-l-i-a-s, Director of the Balkan Affairs for the Greek Foreign Ministry, had talks here at the State Department. May we have a readout on those talks?

MR. BOUCHER: I'd have to check for you on that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. BOUCHER: Okay? Thank you.

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