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Press Release

MHRMI Meets with Macedonian President Ivanov, Reiterates Demand that Macedonia End Name Negotiations

April 21, 2013

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Meeting Ivanov Toronto, Canada (April 21, 2013) - On April 20, 2013, a delegation from Macedonian Human Rights Movement International met with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov during his official state visit to Canada and reiterated our demand that Macedonia immediately end the name negotiations.

MHRMI President Bill Nicholov and MHRMI members Bill Pavlovski, Jovan Drenoski and Chris Balkos (Balkovski) met with President Ivanov, Macedonian Ambassador to Canada Ljuben Tevdovski and Macedonian Member of Parliament for North America, Pavle Sazdov.

MHRMI called on the Macedonian government to expose Greece's blatant racism and true goals in initiating the nonsensical "name dispute" - to eradicate the existence of Macedonia and Macedonians. Instead of constantly defending itself against Greece's ridiculous claims, Macedonia must highlight the irrationality of these claims, such as the risk of "confusion" between the Republic of Macedonia and the Province of Macedonia (which Greece annexed after the partition of Macedonia in 1913) and the supposed "need" for a geographical qualifier. The "qualifier" is already "Republic" so why would something like "Upper", "Northern" or some other ludicrous suggestion be necessary? As MHRMI stated, the "geographical qualifier" argument is simply a ploy in getting Macedonians to be referred to as "Upper Macedonians" or "Northern Macedonians". In other words, trying to eliminate Macedonia's name and identity.

Macedonia must also abolish the notion that it is a "new" nation that is trying to usurp a Greek name. Greece denied the existence of Macedonia until 1988 and did not exist itself as a country until 1830. Macedonia has always been known as such. Macedonia must highlight that Greece, in fact, is trying to usurp Macedonia's name.

MHRMI called on the Macedonian government to point out to the United States, the European Union and other NATO member-states, their extreme hypocrisy in demanding that Macedonia change its name, while simultaneouly claiming that they spread "human rights and democracy" throughout the world. How can the US, EU and NATO justify denying Macedonia its most basic right - that of self-identification?

MHRMI asked for the Macedonian government to join its call for UN mediator Matthew Nimetz to resign his post and, as his predecessor Robin O'Neil has done, denounce the name negotiations.

In addition to several other key points in the
Our Name is Macedonia campaign, which demands that Macedonia stop negotiating its own name, we highlighted the crucial point that any change to Macedonia's bilateral name with Greece would change it internationally.

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International also focused on the vital work that we, and our partners the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee, do throughout the Balkans in the promotion of Macedonian human rights and called on the Macedonian government to be much more vocal in advocating human rights for Macedonians in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, just as countries such as Greece and Albania do for their respective minorities in the Balkans.

Finally, we call on Macedonians in Macedonia, and worldwide, to join the Our Name is Macedonia campaign and demand that Macedonia immediately end the name negotiations. Contact information for the Macedonian parliament can be found here:


http://www.sobranie.mk/en/?ItemID=3117B2594B76DA4DA19ACBC1D4FAE5CE

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Help Macedonians overcome the human rights abuses that they face on a daily basis by joining the MHRMI Human Rights Fund or the AMHRC's Macedonian Minorities Support Fund. MHRMI and the AMHRC are the only organizations in the Macedonian diaspora that finance and organize Macedonian human rights activities in the Balkans. Your donation will go directly to funding vital Macedonian human rights activities.

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


MHRMI Meets Ivanov

Left to right: Macedonian Ambassador to Canada Ljuben Tevdovski, MHRMI member Chris Balkos (Balkovski), President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, MHRMI President Bill Nicholov, Macedonian MP Pavle Sazdov, MHRMI member Jovan Drenoski and MHRMI member Bill Pavlovski.

 
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