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Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Enters Excerpts of Ambassador Alexandros Mallias’ Article Regarding the Name Issue of FYROM in the Congressional Record
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
October 17, 2007—No. 68 (202) 785-8430

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Enters Excerpts of Ambassador Alexandros Mallias’ Article Regarding the Name Issue of FYROM in the Congressional Record

Washington, DC—On October 12, 2007, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) entered remarks in the Congressional Record regarding the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). She entered excerpts from a September 27, 2007 article by Greek Ambassador to the U.S. Alexandros Mallias which was published in The National Interest. Please find the remarks below.

RESOLVING THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA—(Extensions of Remarks—October 12, 2007)

---SPEECH OF HON. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN OF FLORIDA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2007

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, finding an internationally-acknowledged name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is an issue that threatens the peace of the Balkans and the stability of the region.

Particularly troubling is the ongoing insensitivity displayed by officials of FYROM with respect to provocative propaganda and rhetoric that is offensive to Greece.

The latest example of this occurred on September 25, when Dr. Srgjan Kerim, President of the United Nations General Assembly and a native of FYROM, introduced to the Assembly, FYROM's President as "President of the Republic of Macedonia.''

Resolution of this issue could bring substantial stability to the region and pave the way for further integration of FYROM into the international community.

I would therefore like to bring to the House's attention excerpts from the following article that appeared in the September 27, 2007 issue of The National Interest by His Excellency Alexandros P. Mallias, Ambassador of Greece to the United States.

When U.N. General Assembly president H.E. Dr. Srgjan Kerim, a native of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), introduced on September 25 the president of his home country, Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, he implied that the national interest of FYROM prevails over his duties to the UN body. He therefore addressed Mr. Crvenkovksi as the "President of the Republic of Macedonia.''

Some people may think that what happened in the UN constitutes a minor or isolated incident. Nevertheless, this is not the case—this has deeper roots both on a regional and international level. Challenging UN resolutions and decisions and ignoring commitments undertaken through international agreements, as FYROM has systematically done by violating the US-brokered Interim Accord with Greece, is a bad precedent. This is a violation of the principle of good-neighborly relations and puts sustained regional stability in jeopardy.

Dr. Kerim, obviously acting under instructions from his government, has irreparably damaged his standing and credibility as president of the General Assembly. He did not respect the resolutions of the body over which he is presiding nor of the Security Council of the United Nations, the organization he has been called upon to serve.

The actions of Dr. Kerim and FYROM are a clear indication of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's lack of respect for international law and international institutions. They are also a blunt violation of the US-brokered Interim Accord.

Many Americans may think this is a minor issue. But the history of the region, not to mention of Europe as a whole, demonstrates that whenever irredentist claims are left unaddressed, the seeds of future conflicts are sown. Europe today is governed by the rule of law; the completion of the European project in the Balkans—and the extension of a zone of peace and prosperity—rest upon the willingness of governments to live up to their international commitments. Obligations are like a tapestry; even pulling on what might appear to outsiders to be a small and insignificant thread can end up unraveling the entire work. We have too much invested in the stability of the region to allow this to happen.

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.