Politics & Policy

What’s In a Name

Macedonia's unresolved title has been an obstacle to Balkan stability.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has played a small but symbolic role with regard to the Global War on Terror and our mission in Iraq. FYROM employs troops in Iraq and also supports the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has encouraged FYROM’s preparations for NATO membership by signing the Adriatic Charter initiative, which underlines Albania’s, Croatia’s, and FYROM’s dedication to strengthening their individual and cooperative efforts to intensify and hasten domestic reforms which enhance the security, prosperity, and stability of the region.

As a member of the Hellenic Caucus, I have co-sponsored various pieces of legislation encouraging the involved parties to find a mutually acceptable name for the FYROM. One such bill received more cosponsors than 97 percent of 809 House resolutions introduced in the 109th Congress. For the benefit of FYROM and the benefit of the region, the U.N.’s proposal should be accepted as a basis for serious negotiation. I am confident that Greece and FYROM can negotiate a mutually acceptable win-win title for both countries.

Peace and stability in the Balkans are crucially important to the United States. and resolving the FYROM name dispute will be an essential step toward this goal.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee as well as the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia.

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