LETTER FROM CHRIS SPIROU TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, ANTONIO GUTERRES

CHRIS SPIROU

 

The Honorable Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary General

United Nations, New York, NY

Manchester, New Hampshire

Monday, March 12, 2018

 

Dear Secretary General Guterres,

I am certain you are aware that the “Macedonia” name dispute has erupted again in the Balkan region and has once again become the source of grave concern, instability and potential conflict to the peoples of Greece and of the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM.”

As a Greek American political leader, I am writing to express my personal concerns about the current negotiations taking place between Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations “Special Representative for the naming dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” and the governments of Greece and of “FYROM.”

I am expressing my grave concerns to you, and through you, to the five “Permanent Members” of the United Nations Security Council about the “Macedonia” name dispute, having had the lengthy personal experience in trying to find a peaceful resolution to the brutal civil war in Bosnia. A civil war, which was the direct result of the premature, thoughtless and hastily arranged recognition by the United Nations of the then breakaway Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia as a new nation. I say thoughtless, premature and hastily arranged recognition, because it took China the better part of two years to join the United Nations, while Bosnia was recognized as a new nation by the United Nations in less than two weeks from its application. With Bosnia having a fundamentalist Muslim government at its helm at the time, in the middle of a predominately Christian Balkan region; a region, which was under Muslim Ottoman occupation for nearly 500 years.

I need not remind you, Mr. Secretary General, that the decision by the United Nations, to hastily recognize Bosnia as a new nation, with a fundamentalist Muslim government, caused a brutal civil war, where hundreds of thousands of people were killed, over a million became refugees and thousands upon thousands were maimed. Not to mention the destruction caused.

Personally, for nearly two years, from April 1994 to the end of 1995, I worked behind the scenes, as a volunteer, in an effort to directly involve the then Administration of President Bill Clinton with the then President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, for the purpose of peacefully ending the  civil war in Bosnia.

After what ended up to be a long and gruesome effort, which I will soon describe in a book, became a reality, I was asked by President Milosevic to join him as an official member of the Serb delegation to the peace conference for Bosnia, the “Proximity Peace Talks” at Wright –Peterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, USA, November 1 to November 21, 1995. (See enclosed the official roster of the Serb delegation to the Dayton Proximity Peace Talks.)

Prior to the Bosnia peace effort, for several years, I was involved in the political life of the State of New Hampshire. For 14 years, I served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Ten of those years, as the House Minority Party Leader. In 1984, I was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Governor of New Hampshire. Later I was elected the New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman and in the 1992 presidential election, I was chosen President of New Hampshire’s “Electors” for President elect Bill Clinton.

Mr. Secretary General, because you and the Security Council of the United Nations will make the final decision for the permanent name of the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM,” regardless of any agreement reached between the governments of Greece and of FYROM, I wanted you and the five permanent members of the Security Council to take under serious consideration a few important facts, regarding the “Macedonia” name dispute.

The Security Council should be aware that the decision by the United Nations on April 7, 1993, to recognize the then breakaway Yugoslav administrative republic, the “Socialist Republic of Macedonia,” a name given to that region of Yugoslavia arbitrarily by Marshall Josip Tito in 1944, as an independent nation, with the “temporary” name “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM,” was as thoughtless and as hastily done as was the recognition of the breakaway Yugoslav republic of Bosnia. And while the Bosnian civil war ended, with the tragic results I previously mentioned, the “Macedonia” name controversy has traumatized the peoples of Greece and of FYROM for the last 25 years. And it will continue to be a source of friction and of instability in the region for years to come, unless it is remedied and is remedied soon.

In my considered opinion Mr. Secretary General, the “Macedonia” name dispute can be solved only by the United Nations, who created it. For that reason, I am extremely concerned that the governments of Greece and of FYROM in their current negotiations with Matthew Nimetz, are headed in the same direction that the political leaders of Greece and FYROM had taken on April 7, 1993. Towards making permanent the “Macedonia” name dispute by permanently naming the former Yugoslav administrative region with a name, which will again have the word “Macedonia” in it. As tragic as that possibility may end up being.

Mr. Secretary General, on April 7, 1993, the United Nations with the consent of the then Prime Minister of Greece, Constantine Mitsotakis, and of the then President of the breakaway Yugoslav “Socialist Republic of Macedonia,” Kiro Gligorov, voted to recognize the breakaway Yugoslav republic with the “temporary” name “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM.”

I am sure you know that the recognition by the United Nations of an independent nation with “Macedonia” in its name, temporary or not, a nation whose borders are touching the Greek Province of Macedonia, grossly violated the official conditions for the recognition of Yugoslavia’s breakaway republics. Conditions, which were set by the “Council of Europe” at the “Extraordinary European Political Cooperation Ministerial Meeting,” in Brussels, Belgium, on December 16, 1991. Conditions, which have not been altered or eliminated by the European Union since then.

The “Declaration on Yugoslavia,” issued at the Extraordinary European Political Cooperation Ministerial Meeting, in Brussels on December 16, 1991, stated clearly:

“The Community and its member States also require a Yugoslav Republic to commit itself, prior to recognition, to adopt constitutional and political guarantees ensuring that it has no territorial claims towards a neighboring Community State and that it will conduct no hostile propaganda activities versus a neighboring Community State, including the use of a denomination which implies territorial claims.”

I remind you, Mr. Secretary General, that the phrase “including the use of a denomination which implies territorial claims” is the result of the historic dispute between France and Great Britain. As you may know, in 1963, when Great Britain applied to enter the “European Economic Community” (Iater “European Union”) with the name “Great Britain,” the then President of France, General Charles De Gaulle, vetoed Great Britain’s application. President De Gaulle vetoed Great Britain’s application because he realized that the name of the applicant state, “Great Britain,” carried a denomination, which implied territorial claims. The potential territorial claim President De Gaulle was concerned about, was the French territory of “Bretagne.” It took three different applications for Great Britain to enter the European Economic Community. And when Great Britain was accepted, it was accepted with the name “United Kingdom.” And it’s the “United Kingdom” which is now trying to leave the European Union.

I ask you, Mr. Secretary General, does the name by which the United Nations on April 7, 1993, recognized the former Yugoslav breakaway republic as a new nation with the name “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” carry in it a “denomination” which “implies territorial claims” against a neighboring state, given that the new nation, with “Macedonia” in its name, borders with the Greek Province of Macedonia? Of course it does! And it does it so blatantly that a grammar school level student would be able to notice it.

Mr. Secretary General, why did the United Nations in 1993 decide to disregard the requirements set by the Council of Europe for the recognition of the then breakaway Yugoslav republics and to recognize as a new nation, Tito’s “Socialist Republic of Macedonia,” with a name, which had “Macedonia” in it? Knowing that the new nation with “Macedonia” in its name had its borders next to the only known Macedonia in the world, the Greek Macedonia? You may want to do an objective investigation of the circumstances before your office proposes a final resolution to the Macedonia name dispute to the United Nations Security Council.

And while you are at it Mr. Secretary General, please ask Mr. Nimetz to tell you if the provisions in the current constitution of FYROM, its laws, its diplomatic behavior and its propaganda activities over the last 25 years since recognition, are in compliance with the provisions, which the Council of Europe had set for the recognition of each of the then breakaway Yugoslav republics. I guarantee you, that the current constitution of FYROM, its laws, its regulations and its propaganda activities have violated not only every word in the Council of Europe’s set of conditions for recognition, they have violated their every letter.

I am certain Mr. Secretary General that if Mr. Nimetz decides to be fair and objective, he will also tell you that the only thing the pseudo-Slavo-Macedonians of FYROM, who were recognized by the United Nations in 1993 as an independent nation have not claimed to be their own to date, are the 12 Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece who lived on Mount Olympus. And that’s very surprising, because the leaders of  FYROM have already officially claimed that the Mount Olympus area of Greece belongs to Slavo-Macedonia and is now under “occupation” by Greece.

I also want to remind you, Mr. Secretary General, that on January 22, 1992, just a month after the policy for the recognition of the breakaway Yugoslav republics was set, the “European Council” met in Guimarraes, Portugal, to consider the application of the breakaway Yugoslav republic, the “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” to be recognized as an independent nation with the name “Republic of Macedonia.” The application was rejected because the name had “Macedonia” in it.

The European Council’s January 22, 1992 official announcement following its decision to reject the breakaway Yugoslav Republic’s application clearly stated:

“The European Council reiterates the position taken by the Community and its member States in Guimaraes on the request of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to be recognized as an independent State.  It expresses its readiness to recognize that republic within its existing borders according to their Declaration on 16 December 1991 under a name which does not include the term Macedonia…”

Later, on two other occasions, the European Council voted to reject the application of the breakaway Yugoslav “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” to be recognized as a new nation because the name they were asking to recognized by, had “Macedonia” in it. And I remind you, that the European Union as a political entity has never voted to recognize the Yugoslav “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” as a new nation. The reason? The applicant’s name had “Macedonia” in it.

In closing, Mr. Secretary General, I wish to bring to your attention, the official concerns and warnings expressed in 1992, by the then President of the Hellenic Republic, Constantinos Karamanlis, himself a Macedonian Hellene, and by the then Foreign Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, regarding the possible recognition of a new independent nation, with “Macedonia” in its name, bordering the Greek Province of Macedonia.

On January 3, 1992, three weeks after the Council of Europe established its requirements for the recognition of the then breakaway Yugoslav republics, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Constantinos Karamanlis wrote to Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl, expressing his country’s position on the possible recognition of the Yugoslav “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” as a new nation with “Macedonia” in its name. Said President Karamanlis to Chancellor Kohl:

“Dear friend Chancellor Kohl,”

“In view of the latest worrying developments in the Balkans, I felt it would be useful to write to you in order to express my belief that none of our European partners will tolerate anything that could harm or jeopardize Greece, which is also the only reliable partner and ally in this region.

I would like to specifically draw your attention to the issue of the recognition of the so-called “Republic of Macedonia.” An issue, which is of great importance to Greece and which I happen to know better than any other person, since I am a Macedonian myself.

This republic has absolutely no right, whether historical or ethnological, to the use of the name “Macedonia.”

Historically, because the Slavs, who constitute the majority of the current population of this republic, appeared in the history of the region only in the 6th century A.D., which is about 1,000 years after Alexander the Great made Macedonia an important part of the ancient Greek world.

And ethnologically, because the population of this republic consists of Slavs, Albanians, Gypsies and other ethnic groups, all of which are respected of course, but who have no relationship to the Macedonians.

It is well known that this republic, which makes up the southern part of Yugoslavia, was named “Macedonia” by Tito in 1944. That is, when he and Moscow were seeking to exit into the Aegean Sea through the disintegration of Greece. And, of course, it is inconceivable today, after the end of the Cold War, to give historical legitimacy to those who still have or may have such intentions in the future.

For all those reasons, I am sure that your Government, will not recognize this republic, unless it fully complies with all the requirements unanimously adopted by the Foreign Ministers at the Extraordinary European Political Cooperation Ministerial Meeting, on December 16, 1991.”

On February 26, 1992, President Karamanlis, issued “Instructions” in writing to the then Foreign Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, prior to a scheduled March 12, 1992 meeting of the European Foreign Ministers in Brussels. A meeting, at which the then US Secretary of State, James Baker, asked to attend in order to discuss the possible recognition of the then breakaway Yugoslav republics.

In his “Instructions,” to Foreign Minister Samaras, President Karamanlis said:

“…Such an act, recognition of Skopje with Macedonia in the name, will not just constitute the misrepresentation of history, since it is well known that Skopje has no historical or ethnological right to the use of the name Macedonia. It would not only mean the usurping of Greece’s cultural heritage, but most of all, it would undermine peace and security in the area:

First. Because it would legitimize the efforts made in the recent past, under the pretext of the name Macedonia with the objective to take a large part of Greece through the annexation of Macedonia.

Secondly. Because it would create a permanent source of conflict in the area, since Skopje would be encouraged to expand their claims of nationalism and irredentism, which they have systematically promoted over the last 40 years.

(…) States do not live only in the present. They should remember the past, so that they will not relive it tomorrow.”    

On February 17, 1992, at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Europe in Lisbon, Portugal, the then Foreign Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, warned his European colleagues of the potential dangers to the Balkan region by the recognition of the Yugoslav “Socialist Republic of Macedonia” as a new nation, with “Macedonia” in its name. Said Foreign Minister Samaras to Europe’s Foreign Ministers:

“I have come here to discuss an issue that may at a casual glance seem to be a natural outgrowth of the breakup of the Communist world the desire of a Yugoslav Republic to establish its own identity in the world. But up close where we are, we can see that it is an issue that can cause great friction, wrenching division and open conflict in our region.

Whether that happens or not depends to a large degree on what decisions we make, or how we respond to this difficult issue. Since we have lived with its every aspect, I want to take a little bit of time to indicate where the dangers lie, how to avoid them, and what measures might be adopted to promote cooperation and peace in the Balkans, rather than division and conflict.

The issue, of course is the desire for recognition of a part of Yugoslavia that was known as the administrative region of Vardar Banovina until it was renamed “The People’s Republic of Macedonia” in 1945.

The person who gave the region its new name was Marshall Tito and the reason he did so was to use it as a nucleus for the annexation of those parts of Bulgaria and Greece that were once the Macedonia of Alexander the Great.

(…) The name “Republic of Macedonia”, therefore, is not a phantom fear for us. It is associated with immense pain and suffering by the Greek people and linked with a deliberate plan to take over parts of our territory, which have had Greek identity for more than 2,500 years.

(…) For all of the 47 years since Tito created “The People’s Republic of Macedonia”, its leaders have never stopped trying to undermine our sovereignty over Greek Macedonia, which they call Aegean Macedonia and portray it as “occupied” territory, which one day will be “liberated”.

(…) We now come to the final requirement the Community adopted last December for granting recognition – the stipulation that the Republic should not adopt a name that implies territorial claims.

I submit to you that the denomination “Republic of Macedonia” not only implies territorial claims because it was given to Skopje 47 years ago with the express purpose of taking over parts of Greece and Bulgaria, but it also perpetuates them because if a country exists with that name the impression is given that areas in other countries that bear the same name belong to it.

The name is the game itself. Were it not for the use of the denomination “Macedonia”, they would have no basis to put forward any claims whatsoever on other states’ territories.”

Mr. Secretary-General, if you consider the official concerns and warnings made by the then President of the Hellenic Republic, and the then Foreign Minister of Greece about the use of the name “Macedonia,” by the communist leaders of the Balkans, as being biased, because they were made by Greek officials, I urge you to carefully pay attention to the concerns and to the warnings about the use of the name “Macedonia,”  by the communist leaders of the Balkans, officially expressed by the then United States Secretary of State, Edward Stettinius. The concerns and the warnings, which were issued in an official “Circular,” on December 26, 1944, by the US Secretary of State Stettinius, a few months after Marshal Josip Tito decided to rename the Yugoslav Administrative Region of “Vardarska,” as the “Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Macedonia”.

Secretary of State Stettinius said to the American diplomats serving in the Balkan region at the time:

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Foreign Relations Vol. VIII

Washington D.C.

Circular Airgram

(868.014 / 26 Dec. 1944)

 

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Officers*

 

The following is for your information and general guidance, but not for any positive action at this time.

“The Department has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisans and other sources, with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected state. “This Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation,” Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonian “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece”.

The approved policy of this Government is to oppose any revival of the Macedonian issue as related to Greece. The Greek section of Macedonia is largely inhabited by Greeks, and the Greek people are almost unanimously opposed to the creation of a Macedonian state. Allegations of serious Greek participation in any such agitation can be assumed to be false. This Government would regard as responsible any Government or group of Governments tolerating or encouraging menacing or aggressive acts of “Macedonian forces” against Greece.

The Department would appreciate any information pertinent to this subject which may come to your attention.”

STETTINIUS

Mr. Secretary-General, there is one, and only one, permanent solution to the “Macedonia” name dispute. And that is for the United Nations to name the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” with a name more suited to the ethnological composition of its inhabitants. A name of their own choice. Today’s temporarily named “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” will not be able to peacefully and permanently exist in the region with “Macedonia” in its name.

Mr. Secretary General, the United Nations Security Council must understand that today’s “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” is located in the geographic area of the “Vardarska” Region of the former Yugoslavia. The “Vardarska” Region of the former Yugoslavia is not Macedonia. It never was. And the inhabitants of the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” are not Macedonians. They never were. Thus, the United Nations permanently recognizing a new nation with Macedonia in its name, next to the Greek Province of Macedonia, will make the United Nations a direct accomplice to a flagrant distortion of world history.

Mr. Secretary General, the inhabitants of today’s “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM” claim to be Slavo-Macedonians, as an oxymoron as that new ethnic concoction may sound. But King Philip of Macedonia, Alexander the Great’s father, and Aristotle, the great philosopher and Alexander the Great’s teacher, were Macedonian Hellenes. They were not Slavo-Macedonians. Those are undisputed historical facts. And I offer two more undisputed historical facts for your consideration, for the consideration of the five permanent members of the Security Council and for the members of the United Nations General Assembly.

It is an undisputed historical fact, that the brilliant, historically documented achievements of the “Hellenistic Period,” 323 – 30 B.C., were not the achievements of the ancestors of today’s “Former Socialist Republic of Macedonia,” Slavo-Macedonians. The achievements of the “Hellenistic Period” were the products of the ancient civilized world, which was created by Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia. And it is a historically documented fact that it was Macedonian Hellene, King Alexander the Great, who was the first world leader, to declare his commitment to racial equality, to religious tolerance and to peaceful co-existence amongst peoples.

Mr. Secretary General, Alexander the Great, made his historic declarations for racial equality, for religious tolerance and for peaceful co-existence, more than 2000 years before those words were uttered by President Abraham Lincoln, by Mahatma Gandhi, and by Martin Luther King. At a Symposium held at the ancient city of Opi, today’s city of Jaffa, in the state of Israel, before 9000 officials and notables of all races, Greeks, Persians, and Medes, Alexander the Great declared his dream for the future, telling the 9000 officials and notables present in an “Oath”:

“Now that the wars have come to an end, I wish all of you to prosper in peace. May all the mortals, from now on, live as one nation, reconciled, for the common wealth. Consider the universe to be your country, with common laws, where the best will govern, regardless of their race. I do not divide the humans, as the narrow-minded do, in Greeks and barbarians. I am interested neither in the descent of the citizens, nor in their race. I divide them according to only one criterion, virtue. To me every good foreigner is Greek and every bad Greek is worse than a barbarian.

If ever you come to a dispute, you are not to resort to arms, but you must solve it peacefully. If necessary, I will stand as your arbitrator. You must not consider God to be an authoritarian governor, but a common father to all, so that your behavior resembles the life of the brothers in a family. I consider all humans to be equal, white or dark skinned. And I would like you to be not only citizens of my commonwealth, but also active participants and partners. I will do everything in my power, so that what I promise will come true. Keep this oath, which we took together tonight, as a symbol of love.”

Mr. Secretary General, King Alexander the Great spoke to the 9000 officials and notables present in Opi in the Greek language. Alexander the Great did not declare his “Oath” in Opi in 324 B.C. in the 1945-invented pseudo-Slavo-Macedonian linguistic concoctions. And it would be an international historical crime and a historical cultural forgery if the United Nations in its collective judgment decides to permanently recognize the Yugoslav Administrative Region of “Vardarska” as an independent nation with “Macedonia” in its name, in any shape or form. And transfers Alexander the Great’s “Oath” and the achievements of the “Hellenistic Period” to the Slavo-Macedonian imposters, whom Marshall Tito decided to baptize as Macedonians in 1944.

From what I know, Mr. Secretary General, the United Nations was created to prevent conflict, to promote peace and to preserve world history. I hope and pray that the United Nations will live up to its honorable mission with the “Macedonia” name dispute.

Respectfully,

 

Chris Spirou

Cc:

The Honorable Donald Trump – President of the United States of America

The Honorable Mike Pence – Vice President of the United States of America

The Honorable Rex Tillerson – US Secretary of State

The Honorable Nikki Haley – United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations

 

The Honorable Xi Jinping –  President of the People’s Republic of China

The Honorable Wang Yi – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

The Honorable UN Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu – China’s Ambassador to the United Nations

 

The Honorable Vladimir Putin – President of Russia

The Honorable Sergey Lavrov – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia

The Honorable Nebenzia Vassily Alekseevich – Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations

 

The Honorable Theresa May – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Honorable Boris Johnson – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom

The Honorable Karen Elizabeth Pierce – United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United Nations

 

The Honorable Emmanuel Macron – President of France

The Honorable Jean-Yves Le Drian – Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France

The Honorable François Delattre – France’s Ambassador to the United Nations

 

The Honorable Jean-Claude Juncker President of the European Commission

The Honorable Federica Mogherini – High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Honorable Matthew Nimetz –  United Nations Special Representative for the naming dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia