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Venizelos protests FYROM name at anti-ISIS coalition meeting

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evangelos Venizelos refused to participate in a meeting of the coalition of countries battling the Islamic State, with the Greek government represented instead by its Permanent NATO Representative, Ambassador Diamesis.

Venizelos sought through his absence to protest Greek anger over the use of the ‘constitutional’ name of FYROM in the meeting.

In a statement the Foreign Ministry writes, “The reason that Mr Venizelos did not take part in person was the fact that despite the relevant, frequent contacts and the approaches that were made, the United States, who called the meeting, did not adhere to the rules and practices of the UN as regards how to refer to the participating countries.  More specifically, while at the meeting FYROM took part with its temporary name, in the relevant Common Statement of the countries which make up the coalition, it has signed with its so called constitutional name.”

According to the statement, Venizelos communicated Greek displeasure to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and that “Greece submitted a statement which underlined the relevant decisions of the UN’s Security Council and the fact that Greece only recognizes the country under its temporary name.”