Obama on his final Euro Tour meets with Greek president
Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos informed the media that he spoke with visiting US President Barack Obama on foreign policy issues, including their name dispute with Macedonia. MIA correspondent in Athens reports that Pavlopoulos sharply condemned the Macedonian position on the name issue during his talk with Obama.

 

Daily Kathimerini quotes sources close to the Greek President's office saying that Pavlopoulos condemned the Macedonian position to insist on keeping its name as "irredentism" and as allegedly a push to change the borders in the region. Pavlopoulos said that the Macedonian position is undermining its European perspective.

 

Greece has used the name issue to block Macedonia from opening accession talks with the European Union, or from joining NATO, whose criteria Macedonia met back in 2008. The daily reports that Obama, who is on a farewell visit to Europe, did not go into details and spoke broadly with Pavlopoulos on the need to overcome the migrant crisis and to have a unified approach to the issue that affected the Balkans greatly.

 

Pavlopoulos also raised two additional regional issues which Greece has with its neighbors. He called for a quick reunification of the divided island of Cyprus, where the Greek and the Turkish community are involved in decades long talks on their future status. And Pavlopoulos also condemned a recent statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that it might be time to revisit the 1923 Lausanne treaty. Greece interpreted this statement as another call to redraw the borders in the region.