Macedonia: Greece refused president's plane

Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski pulled out from a June summit of regional leaders in Greece on Thursday, saying Athens had informed him his official plane would not be allowed to land.

Macedonia: Greece refused president's plane
The dispute appeared to be the latest tit-for-tat development in a bitter row over Macedonia's name, which is also the name of Greece's northernmost province.

The row has already halted Macedonia's bid to join NATO and contributed to the fall of the government in April.

Crvenkovski's cabinet issued a statement saying he had cancelled his participation in a summit of heads of state of southeast Europe, scheduled for June 13 in Athens.

"The reason for this decision is the refusal of permission by the Greek authorities for the Macedonian government plane to land," the statement said.

"They have offered other means for the arrival of the president, which are unacceptable to the cabinet."

The Greek authorities were unavailable for comment.

Greece has previously refused permission for Macedonian charter flights to land on the grounds the aircraft carry the name 'Republic of Macedonia'.

Greece in April blocked an invitation for Macedonia to join NATO, insisting it should first change its constitutional name.

The latest development follows a decision by Macedonian border authorities on Tuesday to refuse a Greek military convoy passage through Macedonia to join NATO peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, saying the convoy lacked the necessary documentation.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2008, 18:23
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