Saturday, 20 October 2018 | News today: 6

Zaev for Greek TV: We do not have red lines, if it is important to Greece, we will discuss renaming of the airport

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Optimism and confidence that the two countries have the capacity and willingness to find a solution to the name dispute by mid-2018 was exuded by Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in an interview with a Greek TV outlet aired on Sunday evening.

PM Zaev told Alpha TV that the solution should be acceptable for the two countries adding that such a solution existed, but fell short of revealing any more details so as not to ‘ruin the negotiating process.’

“I’m confident that there is a solution and it is appropriate the very solution to be announced to the citizens of Greece by their premier Alexis Tsipras, whereas it will be my responsibility to unveil the solution to the citizens of my country. I believe there is a chance by the end of the middle of 2018 to find a settlement, which will definitely improve the cooperation between our two countries and which will allow me, as premier of my country, to say that we have gained yet another great ally, our southern neighbor,” PM Zaev told Alpha TV, MIA reports from Athens.

Asked about red lines, he said if there had been red lines, they would have only hindered the process of seeking a solution.

“Our red line is the line that shines bright as a beacon on our path to find a final solution to the issue,” stressed the Macedonian PM.

In the interview with the Greek TV outlet, PM Zaev underscored that Macedonia’s strategic determination was to become part of NATO and the EU and that it was committed to fostering friendship with Greece.

“I believe time is up in the Balkans as a powder keg and time has come when the Balkans will start producing peace, stability, cooperation, free flow of people, goods and ideas,” Zaev noted.

During the interview, the PM also stressed that it was important to leave the past behind and to look forward to the future. Referring to Alexander the Great, he said the historical figure could be someone that united people, instead of dividing them. Asked about the airport and highway in Skopje getting renamed, Premier Zaev said Macedonia was willing to discuss the issue if it was of major importance.