Toronto, Canada and Melbourne, Australia (October 11, 2010) - "I think that the stance on the name issue is well known. NATO was clear at the summit in Bucharest and at last year's summit in Strasbourg and Kehl. The stances and the expectations are that Macedonia will receive an invitation for NATO membership as soon as name issue is solved. I hope that will happen soon," stated US Ambassador Philip Reeker.
On April 28, he said "The [name] issue must be solved, because if not, a question mark is put on Macedonia's future."?He added, "The clock is ticking, it needs to be done right now, and we encourage both Macedonia and Greece to do this."
The United States views itself as a leader in spreading democracy and human rights throughout the world. So how does it justify asking a country to change its own name?
In her address on September 8, 2010 marking Macedonia's Independence Day, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, "The United States is committed to promoting Macedonia?s membership in NATO and the European Union..."
However, this comes with the stipulation that Macedonia changes its name. The United States has already recognized Macedonia, yet it calls for a name change. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Western Europe is being handcuffed by Greece, yet it continues to support Greece in the ludicrous "name dispute", while also bailing it out of its current economic collapse. Every NATO member-state supported Macedonia's membership, yet Greece was permitted to veto it. Greece is being rewarded for its racist and xenophobic policies.
Every Macedonian government has continued the nonsensical name negotiations solely to satisfy American and Western European pressure to find a "compromise" with Greece. Instead of capitulating to countries that demand a change to Macedonia's name and identity, the Macedonian government must immediately end the name negotiations and demand support from these countries.
129 countries, including 4/5 UN Security Council members, have recognized Macedonia. On Sept.24, 2010, Syria joined the growing list. As we stated in our campaign demanding an end to name negotiations, "We are winning. We have the power to end this. Stop negotiating our own name".
According to former US Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, "The name dispute is unnecessary and unfounded, since Macedonia was called the same in the time of former Yugoslavia and this did not cause any problems then". He added, "Is there anything more immature and more foolish than 'blackmailing' a nation by denying its membership in international organizations, which goal is to preserve the peace and protect their members from aggression of non-members."
The first UN mediator for the name dispute, Robin O'Neil, said that "Macedonia must not and will not change its name in order to appease Greece. If Macedonia succumbs to pressures and changes its name, such events will only give more firepower to Greece until it reaches its final goal - Macedonia to vanish from the map."
MHRMI and AMHRC call on Macedonians, in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad, to join our call for Macedonia to immediately cease name negotiations and demand international recognition.
Our Name is Macedonia campaign www.mhrmi.org/our_name_is_macedonia
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information, please visit www.mhrmi.org, or contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental organisation that advocates before governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other excluded groups throughout the world are recognised, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more information please visit www.macedonianhr.org.au, or contact AMHRC by email email@example.com or via +61 3 93298960.