US Gongress urges the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to stop hostile propaganda and find a mutually acceptable solution with Greece on the name issue (11/23/07)
101 Members of the House of Representatives express the sense that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece regarding "hostile activities or propaganda" and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for the FYROM.
The resolution urges FYROM to retract its attempts to falsify history and claim Greece's heritage as its own. Examples mentioned in the resolution include the renaming of the country's main airport to "Alexander the Great", creating maps for school and military textbooks showing a "Greater Macedonia" that reaches well into Greece and Bulgaria and teaching school children that parts of Greece, including the Greek region of Macedonia, are rightfully part of the FYROM.
The complete resolution (H.Res. 356) can be found here.
· The name Macedonia came from the Dorian Greeks, who were called "Macedni." The language they spoke in ancient times was a Greek dialect.
· The Macedonians were ancient Dorian Greeks who entered the geographical area of Macedonia at about 1100 B.C., long before the Slavs appeared in that part of the world.
· Macedonia, ruled by Philip II of Macedon was one of the ancient Greek states, just like Athens was a separate state, Sparta was a separate state, etc. Its geography did not even include present-day FYROM. See map of ancient Greek territory here
· Slavic tribes (the people of FYROM are of Slavic descent) originated from the territories of modern Belarus, Poland, European Russia and Ukraine. They migrated to the region during the 6th century A.D., 800 years after Alexander the Great lived.
· Under Ottoman rule, the geographic definition of the Macedonia region was expanded to include present-day FYROM and during the Balkan wars of 1912-1914 the geographical territory of Macedonia was divided. 51.6% retained by Greece; 38.3% parceled to Yugoslavia; 10.1% parceled to Bulgaria. Greek real estate was parceled out.
· During World War II, Yugoslavia's Marshal Tito established Western Macedonia as one of Yugoslavia's six republics. Before World War II, the area was referred to as VARDARSKA.
· With the appropriation of the name "Macedonia", Tito also created a mythic language (Slavic in origin, based on West Bulgarian dialects) called "Macedonian", whose grammar was developed by Krume Kepeski in 1944 and later codified by Blaze Koneski. The objective was territorial expansionism. Tito rewrote history by using foibles and propaganda to distort the integrity and heritage of the region.
· All ancient Macedonian names were Greek: The name ALEXANDER (Αλέξανδρος) derives from the Greek words αλέξω (to repel, shield, protect) and ανήρ (man; genitive case ανδρός), and means "PROTECTOR OF MEN". Alexander's father was Philip II of Macedon. The name Philip is produced from the prefix Philo (meaning "friend of") and the word ippos (meaning "horse") - the man who is friendly to horses. Alexander's half sister had a Greek name, Thessalonike ("victory over Thessalians"), as did his famed horse, Bucephalus ("ox-head"). No relationship whatsoever to anything Slavic.
· Alexander the Great and his teacher, Aristotle, were Greek and spoke Greek - not any Slavic language.
In other words, there are no historical ties between ancient Macedonia and the Slavic population currently residing in FYROM other than the rhetoric that has emerged since the break up of Yugoslavia.
Here is how the History Channel presents it:
In terms of the resolution, H.Res. 356 states the following:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece regarding "hostile activities or propaganda" and should work with the United Nations and Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually-acceptable official name for the FYROM.
Whereas on April 8, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly admitted as a member the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), under the name the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia";
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 817 (1993) states that the dispute over the name must be resolved to maintain peaceful relations between Greece and the FYROM;
Whereas on September 13, 1995, Greece and the FYROM signed a United Nations-brokered Interim Accord that, among other things, commits them to not "support claims to any part of the territory of the other party or claims for a change of their existing frontiers";
Whereas a pre-eminent goal of the United Nations Interim Accord was to stop the FYROM from utilizing, since its admittance to the United Nations in 1993, what the Accord calls, "propaganda", including in school textbooks;
Whereas a television report in recent years showed students in a state-run school in the FYROM still being taught that parts of Greece, including Greek Macedonia, are rightfully part of the FYROM;
Whereas some textbooks, including the Military Academy textbook published in 2004 by the Military Academy "General Mihailo Apostolski" in the FYROM capital city, contain maps showing that a "Greater Macedonia" extends many miles south into Greece to Mount Olympus and miles east to Mount Pirin in Bulgaria;
Whereas in direct contradiction of the spirit of the United Nations Interim Accord's section "A", entitled "Friendly Relations and Confidence Building Measures", which attempts to eliminate challenges regarding "historic and cultural patrimony", the Government of FYROM recently renamed the capital city's international airport "Alexander the Great";
Whereas the aforementioned acts constitute a breach of the FYROM's international obligations deriving from the spirit of the United Nations Interim Accord, which provides that FYROM should abstain from any form of "propaganda" against Greece's historical or cultural heritage;
Whereas such acts are not compatible with the Article 10 of the United Nations Interim Accord regarding "improving understanding and good neighbourly relations", as well as with European standards and values endorsed by European Union member-states; and
Whereas this information, like that exposed in the media report and elsewhere, being used contrary to the United Nations Interim Accord instills hostility and a rationale for irredentism in portions of the population of the FYROM toward Greece and the history of Greece:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—(1) urges the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to observe its obligations under Article 7 of the 1995 United Nations-brokered Interim Accord which directs the parties to "promptly take effective measures to prohibit hostile activities or propaganda by state-controlled agencies and to discourage acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred or hostility" and review the contents of textbooks, maps, and teaching aids to ensure that such tools are stating accurate information; and (2) urges the FYROM to work within the framework of the United Nations process with Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals by reaching a mutually-acceptable official name for the FYROM.
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