Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Monday that his country “could change its position regarding the name of Macedonia.”
Dacic said this after Skopje’s announcements that it would “change its position on being neutral” during a future vote on Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO, Tanjug reported.
“If Macedonia really were to vote in favor of admitting Kosovo to UNESCO – although it’s aware what a blow that would be to Serbia and the Serb people – I will make a proposal to President Vucic that Serbia should, in connection to the name under which we recognized Macedonia – take into account the position of the EU – just as they do, when it comes to Kosovo in UNESCO,” Dacic told the agency.
He was referring to Belgrade recognizing Macedonia under its constitutional name of “the Republic of Macedonia” – while the majority of EU member-states recognize the country as “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).”
The country’s name has been the subject of a decades-long dispute with Greece, whose northern province is also called Macedonia – prompting Athens to challenge Skopje’s claim to the name.
Dacic also today noticed that the latest announcements coming out of Skopje – stand “directly opposed to all the statements Macedonia PM Zoran Zaev has made so far, that Macedonia would be neutral.”
Beside speaking publicly about this topic, Zaev also “conveyed the neutrality position” to Serbia’s PM Brnabic in Trieste – Dacic said, apparently referencing the recent Western Balkans summit held in the Italian town.
A change in this position, Dacic continued, “will directly influence our good-neighborly relations.”
According to the Serbian foreign minister, who also serves as the first deputy prime minister – Belgrade’s goal is to have good relations – “but only on the basis of reciprocity.”