Washington, 9 November 2004 (18:41 UTC+2)
US Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) after contacts with the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding the FYROM recognition by the US under the name “Republic of Macedonia”.

In his letter expresses “concern” and states that this action is “insulting to the Greek-American community”, while he asks Secretary of State Powell to provide him with an articulation on the rationale behind this policy decision.

Mr. Andrews has time and time again, in many legislative capacities, supported a name for FYROM that does not incorporate the word “Macedonia”. Mr. Andrews understands that it is not in the US interests to recognize FYROM in this way because it has the potential to destabilize the region, which would adversely affect US interests, according to AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis.

The full text of Mr. Andrews' letter has as follows:

        “I write to express my concern regarding the recent announcement that the United States will be referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as “Republic of Macedonia” from this point forward. This reversal of US policy is detrimental to the ongoing negotiations between Greece and FYROM, and will only serve to create greater divisions between these two nations.

It is my belief, and the belief of many Greek and Greek-American citizens, that the name “Macedonia” properly belongs to Greek culture. The US decision to refer to FYROM as the “Republic of Macedonia” is insulting to the Greek community, and appears to accomplish nothing aside from creating further divisiveness. Language was included in the FY2004 omnibus appropriations bill urging the State Department to use the proper name for this Balkan nation, thereby allowing Greece and FYROM to reach their own agreement on use of the Macedonian name. However, despite this urging, a unilateral decision has now been made which gives the appearance that the United States had sided against our Greek allies.

I thank you for taking the time to review this correspondence, and ask that you please provide me with an articulation of the rationale behind this policy decision.”


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