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America Recognizes Macedonia by its Constitutional Name

November 4, 2004

(Balkanalysis.com Research Service)- The Greek government is to lodge a protest with Washington after the revitalized, re-elected Bush Administration came out with its first significant post-election foreign policy move – the recognition of Macedonia under its constitutional name.

Sitel TV, A1 TV and other local media announced the sensational decision around noontime Wednesday, adding that President Crvenkovski will address the nation at 2:30 to make the official announcement.Meanwhile, the Greeks called US Ambassador in Athens Thomas Miller to clarify his government’s position. Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis cancelled a trip to Brussels where negotiations over the name issue were set to commence with the Macedonian side.

Clearly, there was a factor of timing here – the Bush Administration has been rumored for some time to be considering the recognition of Macedonia. “Bush didn’t just come up with this last night,” said one veteran observer in Skopje. “This was already in the works.”

Yet why now, four days before the referendum – which the US opposes -± is to begin? Are the Americans trying to shore up the faltering SDSM-DUI government with a well-timed gift? And will there be any strings attached? More news to follow as this remarkable story plays out.

 

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