Hillary Clinton receives award from Hellenic group

Hillary Clinton, May 21, 2009   Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama’s speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.) Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort ...

585614_090522_Clinton0905212.jpg
585614_090522_Clinton0905212.jpg

 

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia" name issue. Greece wants the "Republic of Macedonia" to instead be called the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (or "FYROM" for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the "official name" is "Republic of Macedonia." To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it's sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia"'s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.

Hillary Clinton, May 21, 2009

Hillary Clinton, May 21, 2009
 

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama’s speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia” name issue. Greece wants the “Republic of Macedonia” to instead be called the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (or “FYROM” for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the “official name” is “Republic of Macedonia.” To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it’s sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia”‘s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.

The official schedule for today:

9:30 a.m. Receive Award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in the Treaty Room.

11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Karel De Gucht, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.

Update: When asked about the name issue at the award presentation, Clinton said:

Well, we have been very committed to that. I have spoken out about the need to resolve the name issue in a way that is acceptable to both parties. And Deputy Secretary [James] Steinberg was recently in the region making that case. We have picked up this issue with a lot of commitment early on in our administration. Obviously, this has to be resolved by the parties themselves, but we are urging that resolution. We think it is in everyone’s best interest. As you said, it would open the way for movement toward another nation joining the European Union, which we think promotes stability in the region, so we are very committed to doing what the United States can to facilitate that.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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