The White House
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
U.S. RECOGNITION OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Today, the United States extended formal recognition to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and declared its intent to establish full diplomatic relations. The President conveyed this decision in a letter delivered in Skopje to President Gligorov. This move is in recognition of the democratic expression of the citizens of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to establish a sovereign and independent state based on democratic principles. This action will help promote stability in the region. We join nearly every other country of Europe in taking this step.
In extending formal recognition, we have taken into account The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's commitment to peaceful cooperative relations and its respect for the territorial integrity of all of its neighbors and the inviolability of existing boundaries. Establishment of diplomatic relations will take place upon receipt of assurances regarding matters of importance to the U.S., including respect for CSCE norms and principles, enforcement of UN imposed sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, and a commitment to work constructively with the United Nations to resolve differences with our long time ally Greece.
We recognize that Greece and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have outstanding differences which we expect will be resolved through good faith negotiations. We further expect that our recognizing The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will encourage flexibility in addressing the symbolic and constitutional issues which separate the two parties so that they can overcome the problems that stand in the way of a normal bilateral relationship. We believe that lasting peace and stability in the Balkans depends on states' mutual respect and adherence to CSCE principles. We also take note of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's commitment to democratic principles, to human rights, to the creation of an open, free market economy and to its desire to seek peaceful solutions to problems in the region.