A senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a Washington DC foreign policy think tank, said in a blog post that “while successive U.S. administrations have actively supported this effort (the Greece-FYROM name dispute), the Trump administration deserves kudos for quiet engagement that helped push it over the line.”
Amanda Sloat, the institute’s Robert Bosch Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy at Brookings’ Center on the United States and Europe suggests in her piece that officials from the Trump Administration were instrumental in pushing today’s deal between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, his counterpart in Skopje.
According to a televised address to the Greek people, Tsipras announced that a deal had been struck to allow the nation to call itself the Republic of North Macedonia.
Sloat outlines what she called “quiet diplomacy” that helped seal the deal between the two leaders.
“The United States has been engaged in quiet diplomacy in recent months, led by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Wess Mitchell and supported by ambassadors in Athens and Skopje. During a March visit to the region, Mitchell rightly observed that conditions for reaching a compromise were “better than they have ever been.”
Senior administration figures have given their support, Sloat argues. “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met Macedonian Defense Minister Radmila Shekerinska in early May, Vice President Mike Pence called Greek Prime Minister Tsipras in mid-May, and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington several days later.
Sloat also said that “Special credit goes to Matthew Nimetz, a 78-year-old American diplomat who has served as the United Nations Special Representative for the name issue since 1999.”
The entire report from Brookings is here.
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