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Press Release

MHRMI Meets with US State Department Officials, Calls on US to Support Macedonia's Name, Macedonian Minority Rights, and to End its Interference in Macedonian Politics

November 17, 2016

×čņą¼ ¼ą īāąą ńņšąķčöą ķą ģąźåäīķńźč

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US State Department Macedonian Human Rights Movement International President, Bill Nicholov, met with US State Department officials on October 19, 2016 and called for the United States to immediately end its calls for Macedonia to change its name and to denounce the name negotiations. Nicholov called for the US to help end the oppression of Macedonians in neighbouring Balkan countries and, finally, to end its interference in Macedonia’s current political situation.

Nicholov pointed out MHRMI’s long-standing position that Macedonia never should have engaged, or have been forced to engage, in any negotiations about its name. The only way to solve the artificially created name dispute is to end the negotiations, and that MHRMI expects the United States to stand up for its own principles and to condemn the name negotiations as an attack on Macedonia’s most basic of rights. Nicholov reiterated MHRMI’s positions about the name issue, as explained to
UN Special Envoy Matthew Nimetz during their meeting of October 18, 2016. Simply put, any discussion of Macedonia’s name only enables Greece in its goals to deny the existence of Macedonians’ ethnic origin, name, language, culture and identity. Macedonia has always been known as such, and Greece’s recent claim to the name Macedonia is only a tactic in the Greek-manufactured name dispute. Nicholov pointed out that the US can end the name dispute by condemning Greece’s position and fully supporting Macedonia.

Nicholov called for the US to demand the end of discrimination against Macedonians, specifically by Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, and to force these countries to adhere to the international human rights conventions to which they are signatories. He also called for an increase in the State Department’s reporting of human rights violations against Macedonians in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. He explained that the terminology used for Macedonians in the report on Greece must not appease Greece’s non-recognition of its large Macedonian minority. For example, the use of the State Department’s terms “self-identified Macedonians” and “Slavic groups” only helps Greece to negate the ethnic identity of Macedonians and is not acceptable. Furthermore, the statement that “...more than two million ethnically (and linguistically) Greek citizens also used the term Macedonian in their self-identification” is not only factually incorrect, as ethnic Greeks never claimed the term Macedonian to describe themselves until Greece's renewed assault on Macedonia, it also aids Greece in denying the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity. Moreover, Greece's attempts at eradicating the existence of the Macedonian nation – and misappropriating the term Macedonia – must be denounced by the State Department.

Finally, Nicholov called for the US to end its interference in Macedonia’s internal affairs and political situation. He reiterated MHRMI’s position that the US must end its policy of foreign interventionism and, if it feels that it must provide guidance to other democracies in the world, to do so by example. And there is no better example than to denounce Greece’s most transparent act of oppression against Macedonia – the name dispute – and to put an end to the name negotiations.


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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: 1-416-850-7125,
info@mhrmi.org, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia.



 
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