The Macedonian Tendency: US State Department Daily Press Briefing -- December 14, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

US State Department Daily Press Briefing -- December 14, 2007

By David Edenden

It's nice to see that the US State Department is standing firm on the "Name Issue". My over wrought post regarding a Greek newspaper rumor of the betrayal of Macedonia's name in exchange for Greek support for Kosovo independence was wrong and I apologize to President Bush, Condi Rice, Paul Pfeuffer, Ambassador Gillian Arlette Milovanovic, and finally Sean McCormack (someone send this guy some Macedonian feta cheese) ... but not Barack Obama!

Our friend Mr. Lambros, said something about Bulgaria which is garbled. It seems Bulgaria is also standing firm on Macedonia's name and is opposed to any back room deal between the US and Greece to "stab Macedonia in the back". It's good to have Bulgaria so firmly on our side on this issue. In the Christmas spirit, I want to thank all Bulgarians everywhere!

Daily Press Briefing -- December 14:

(MR. MCCORMACK:) "Lambros. Let it out.

QUESTION: On FYROM, Mr. McCormack.

MR. MCCORMACK: Yes, indeed.

QUESTION: Any readout on the today's talks among Deputy Secretary John Negroponte, DAS Daniel Fried and a senior official from FYROM?

MR. MCCORMACK: This is a -- is this a -- the Foreign Minister from Macedonia you're speaking about?

QUESTION: I guess that's the official, yes.

MR. MCCORMACK: Understood. They were --

QUESTION: Of FYROM, you said Macedonia.

MR. MCCORMACK: We've made our decision. You're still working on yours. They're probably going to talk about NATO, talk about the importance of continuing reforms that Macedonia has underway, probably talk a little bit about Kosovo, the fact that Macedonia can play an important role, along with other states in the region, maintaining, you know, a stable atmosphere. And they'll probably also talk about the name issue in this. We have made our decision, but there are still other outstanding questions specifically with respect to NATO. There's a process underway.

QUESTION: To which extent did you discuss the name issue? Any concrete details, if you can say so?

MR. MCCORMACK: I don't have any more details for you.

QUESTION: And the last one. I was told by a high reliable source before yesterday that the U.S. Government is not sure if it's going to implement any agreement between Athens and Skopje on the name issue in order to avoid Albania and Bulgaria, which is crucial. Mr. McCormack, some FYROM officials or Bulgarian (inaudible) not to change the name. I'm wondering how Bulgaria is involved in this case (inaudible)?

MR. MCCORMACK: I don't know. I don’t know.

QUESTION: The Department of State (inaudible.)

MR. MCCORMACK: I couldn't begin to tell you. I don't know about this. We as a government have made our decision about the name issue. It's Macedonia. There's still an open question within NATO right now. It's under consideration. We have -- you know, the Secretary when she's met with the Greek Foreign Minister as well as others, that urge that this process be resolved as part of the questions about Macedonia's potential membership.

QUESTION: Are you going to implement any agreement between the two sides?

MR. MCCORMACK: Between what two sides?

QUESTION: FYROM and Greece on the names?

MR. MCCORMACK: They have to work something out first. Look, Lambros, we've made our decision. I'm not sure I see the -- fire on all the connections here.

QUESTION: I -- has the meeting actually happened yet?

MR. MCCORMACK: I don't know exactly. I'm not sure. It could have. Yeah, or it could not have either. But --


  1. My Family are proud Macedonians who have developed a "Macedonian Style Feta" in Canada. Our customers throughout Canada say its very good. Get me this guys address and l will send him some.

    Have a Great Christmas a Happy New Year

  2. I have sent an email to the US State Department about sending them food.

    In this era of "war on terrorism", I just realized that they would probably not accept food.

  3. I wonder why they leave this guy Lambros in the White House press corp. I wonder what news organization keeps him in payroll. Are the Greeks so low in talent in money?

    He is more anti-Western that Michael Nesonica, as if that's possible.

    Of course, US will not budge, for now. But what if the Democrats win? That's to be seen. Greeks are very strong in the Dem Party.

    Usually, Reps and Dems keep the same line in foreign affairs.

  4. I have seen Lambros in action in video clips from the State Department and fellow reporters see him as a buffoon and seem to laugh in his face. Of course, he is given a ridiculous position to defend, which he may disagree with personally.

    Regarding the Greek strength in the Democratic Party, it is very strong, witness Obama's overt support for Greece over the "FYROM" name issue, however I doubt that a Democratic president will go back to "FYROM" since the trend is the opposite for all countries, such as Canada and even the EU.

    The Greeks know this, since they have had to deal with US and EU double dealing regarding Cyprus for over two generations. They now want to salvage what they can in a double name compromise.

  5. Marco,
    "He is more anti-Western that Michael Nesonica, as if that's possible."

    I am not anti-Western, I am merely anti-hypocrisy, which in the case of Macedonia and the Balkans, the West has plenty to answer for! It is their wheeling and dealing and general ignorance of issues at hand that has caused many problems not only in the Balkans but around the World.

    I ask Marco, what are you pro? To me you sound like an Albanian sympathiser!