Why is Gruevski returning Jolevski?
The government only shows that soon it is not likely to solve the problem with Greece, analysts believe after the decision of Nikola Gruevski to propose Zoran Jolevski, Macedonian ambassador to the U.S. and negotiator in the name dispute, for Defense Minister
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Returning Jolevski from Washington is a serious indicator that the Government attaches no serious importance of resolving the name dispute, says Nano Ruzin, former ambassador of Macedonia in NATO after the decision of Nikola Gruevski to propose Zoran Jolevski, Ambassador of Macedonia to the U.S. and negotiator in the name dispute with Greece.
“This shows that the government reduces the negotiations to a technical issue, not a demand for solution through diplomatic skills. The negotiator is only technical communicator of the views of the Government”, says Ruzin.
University professor Mirjana Maleska does not exclude the possibility that in internal discussions it has been concluded that at the moment “there are no prospects of progress in negotiations hence it does not matter whether Jolevski will be in the U.S. or in Macedonia“.
“As many negotiators have changed, why not change the last one. Another reason for the return can be very personal, to reward PM’s loyal people”, says Maleska.
The former ambassador to SFRY and Macedonia, Risto Nikovski disagrees with them saying that the return of the country’s current ambassador to the United States has nothing to do with the attitude of the government towards the negotiations on name.
“First you must know that Jolevski is not a negotiator and has no mandate for it. He is only a mediator in the name dispute with Greece. As such, he may perform the function from Skopje unless someone else is appointed in his place. Whether he will be in Macedonia or in the U.S. does not change much, although it is true that from technical aspect it is easier if he is there”, says Nikovski.
Do the US have influence Jolevski to go back home?
After the unofficial and unconfirmed information that the U.S. have influence on Jolevski’s return to Skopje, Nikovski does not exclude this possibility, although, he says, it does not have to be so.
“Some associate the proposal Jolevski to be the new defense minister with some involvement of the U.S. in the personnel policies of the country but it does not have to be so. However, the fact is that they do it in countries like ours. The key problem with the name is in Washington, not in Athens and the whole turning point that occurred at the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 when Macedonia was not admitted to the Alliance was orchestrated by the U.S.“, he says.
However, according to Nikovski, such proposal of mandator Gruevski can be good especially as Jolevski has been an ambassador in one of the key political centers, Washington for eight years.
“Minister is a state function, and ministers have the right and obligation to use all their capabilities to operate in the interests of the state. When one is so long ambassador he has all contacts there and he should use his views and opinions when it is most needed”, he says.
Maleska, however, does not believe in the influence of the United States because she thinks that they support the negotiation process between Macedonia and Greece and are interested in resolving the name issue, especially after the events in Ukraine. Despite the diplomatic experience, Maleska does not believe Jolevski can do much at the upcoming NATO summit to be held in September this year in South Wales, UK.
“When talking about it maybe this decision for defense minister is due to the upcoming NATO summit. But we know what is required there, so I do not think that anyone can “charm” the countries, the Alliance members”, says Maleska.
The mandator of the new government, Nikola Gruevski has submitted a proposal to the Assembly according to which the still current Macedonian ambassador to the U.S. and current negotiator Zoran Jolevski should be the new defense minister.
Trajko Veljanoski, presidentof the Assembly scheduled a session for June 19th on which 123 MPs are to elect 26 ministers in the new government
Who is Zoran Jolevski?
Still current Macedonian ambassador to the U.S. and negotiator in the name dispute with Greece, Zoran Jolevski was born 55 years ago in Skopje where he completed his primary and secondary education. He is a graduate economist with Master thesis in commercial law and PhD in the field of international economics. He began his diplomatic career in 1994 as First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Macedonia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Office of the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1999 he was appointed general secretary in the cabinet of President Boris Trajkovski. After the government revoked Ljupco Jordanovski, in March 2007 Zoran Jolevski was appointed as the new Macedonian Ambassador to the United States and since 2008 he has been a chief negotiator in the name dispute with Greece. Jolevski has also been a member of managing boards of several major Macedonian companies and advisor to many foreign presidents and governments of their countries entering the WTO.
Last week the mandator Nikola Gruevski proposed Jolevski for a new defense minister.
Editor: Stojanka Mitreska