Obama Administration
United States of America

Dear President Obama:

In advance of your historic trip to Greece, we are writing regarding U.S. policy on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM).

Your Greek-American constituents are deeply appreciative of your long record of support on this issue. We recall that as Senator you were an original lead co-sponsors of Senate Resolution 300 in 2007, which urged that the FYROM work with Greece to reach a mutually-acceptable official name for that country. We also appreciate that as President, you have refused to support NATO membership for the FYROM since it has failed to reach a mutually-acceptable solution with Greece.

We agree with your support of the UN-led negotiations and your belief that there can and should be an agreement between Skopje and Athens that leads to greater stability in the Balkans. Present U.S. policy on this issue, however, is unintentionally promoting instability in the Balkans.

In 2004, the Bush Administration rewarded Skopje’s support for the Iraq War by recognizing the country as “Macedonia” despite the ongoing UN-led negotiations. State Department officials at the time argued that the policy would lead to stability in the Balkans and make a solution with Greece more likely.

The exact opposite has occurred. Encouraged by what it has interpreted as unqualified U.S. support, Skopje has become more intransigent in its negotiations with Greece and more provocative in making claims on Greek history. Skopje has also made the refugee crisis in the region worse by closing its border with Greece. Finally, Skopje is mired in political and corruption scandals that risk further instability.

Greece is a frontline state for the Western alliance, and your visit underscores this strategic significance. Continuing the Bush Administration’s ill-conceived and improperly motivated decision to recognize the FYROM as “Macedonia” increases the risk of political instability in Greece at a time when Greece needs political consensus to confront economic and refugee crises.

Earlier this year, the Greek-American community launched a petition supported by Hellenes worldwide requesting that you reverse the recognition of a “Macedonia”. The tens of thousands of signatures on this petition and recent polling in Greece both demonstrate that this issue remains an important one for the Greek electorate and for the Greek diaspora worldwide.

Your visit can indeed promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. Therefore, we request that you order a review of the present policy on the FYROM by your State Department, with specific emphasis given on whether the continued recognition of a “Macedonia” promotes stability in the region and makes a solution with Greece more likely.

For more information, please visit:

WE, the undersigned, citizens and residents of the United States of America and of countries around the world interested in advancing American interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and regional stability, petition the Obama administration to: REVERSE the Executive Order by the Bush Administration of 2004, recognizing the country of the “FYROM” as “Republic of Macedonia”.

ΕΜΕΙΣ, οι κάτωθι υπογράφοντες πολίτες και κάτοικοι των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής και των χωρών όλου κόσμου που ενδιαφέρονται για την προώθηση των ενδιαφερόντων της Αμερικής και της σταθερότητας στην περιοχή των Βαλκανίων και της Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης, ζητεί από την κυβέρνηση Ομπάμα να ΑΝΑΚΑΛΕΣΕΙ το Προεδρικό Διάταγμα της κυβέρνησης του Μπους του 2004 αναγνωρίζοντας την "πΓΔΜ" ως "Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας".

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