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 --