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Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 

EU's Mogherini and Hahn to visit Macedonia on April 18

EU

Skopje, 3 April 2018 (MIA) - EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn are expected to visit Macedonia on April 18, a day after the release of the progress reports of the European Commission, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Tuesday.

"It is expected the visit to take place after the reports are published, slated for April 17. It will happen most likely on April 18 as Skopje will be hosting the Western Balkans Digital Summit. I believe that April 18-19 are the dates when Commissioner Hahn and High Representative Mogherini will visit Macedonia," PM Zaev said answering a journalist question at a joint press conference alongside his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar.

Asked whether he expected Russia and China - two permanent members of the UN Security Council - to use the right to veto over Macedonia's expulsion of a Russian diplomat and recognition of Taiwan (in 1999), Zaev said that he didn't expect Moscow and Beijing to exercise the veto 'if Macedonia and Greece found a name settlement before it was sent to the UN Security Council.'

We are friends with China and Russia, the Macedonian Premier stressed saying that Macedonia and China were cooperating as part of the 16+1 process and that he hoped cooperation could be resumed with Russia.

"When domestic laws and the Vienna Convention are breached, it is our duty to act in line and to abide by international laws, which apply equally for all countries all the while respecting our laws. We can build friendship through mutual respect. I except any possible name agreement with Greece to be supported both by Russia and China," he told the news conference.

Slovenian PM Cerar said he was confident that 'now is the right time' for Macedonia to solve the name dispute.

"Slovenia welcomes the fact that the name talks have intensified, we sincerely wish for a name solution to be found as soon as possible. It seems to me that now is the right time, the conditions have matured for finding a settlement. Thus, I express my wish for some kind of agreement to be concluded, an agreement that would allow Macedonia to breathe freely," stated Cerar. ba/19:05

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