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08SKOPJE696 2008-11-17 17:04:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Skopje
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1. (SBU) Summary: Macedonia has filed legal proceedings
against Greece in the International Court of Justice (ICJ),
claiming that in blocking Macedonia's NATO membership Greece
has violated the terms of the 1995 Interim Accord. Proposed
press guidance in para. 6 End summary.

2. (SBU) FonMin Milososki convoked EU, NATO and OSCE
Ambassadors (including Greece's) to inform us that Macedonia
filed today (17 Nov) legal proceedings against Greece in the
International Court of Justice for violation of the 1995
Interim Accord (IA). Specifically, Macedonia charges that by
vetoing Macedonia's NATO membership at the April NATO Summit
in Bucharest, Greece is in "gross violation" of Article 11 of
the IA, in which Greece undertook not to block Macedonia's
membership in international organizations under the country's
provisional name, "The Former Yugoslav Republic of

3. (SBU) Milososki said that after Bucharest the GoM
consulted with (non-governmental) legal experts from the
U.S., UK, and France. He emphasized that the filing was only
to deal with the alleged violation of Article 11 of the IA;
Macedonia was not/not asking for a judgment on the name issue
itself. He underscored that the GoM's goal is protecting the
IA, and believes this should have no impact on the ongoing
UN-brokered name negotiations between Skopje and Athens.
"The Nimetz process should continue," he added.

4. (SBU) Milososki pointed out that Article 21 of the IA
states that any differences between the parties on the Accord
-- except having directly to do with the name issue itself --
may be submitted to the ICJ. He added that Macedonia has
designated a Croatian legal expert, Budislav Vukas, to serve
as ad hoc judge before the ICJ.

5. (U) Scanned copies of the filing and the Foreign
Ministry's press release will be forwarded to Washington via
unclassified email.

6. (U) Proposed press guidance. We recommend the Department
follow the guidance below, which we intend to use to handle
local press inquiries.


Q: Do you have a comment on the Macedonian ICJ suit against

A: We have supported the UN process led by Amb. Nimetz and
continue to support it. We are disappointed that a
resolution has not been found to date. The Macedonia Foreign
Minister stated that Macedonia remains committed to the UN

Q: Do you support the move by the Macedonian government?

A: This was a decision by Macedonia, and this is a bilateral
issue between Macedonia and Greece. The name issue is for
them to resolve.