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Brussels, 22 September 2011

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Today I met with Deputy Prime Minister Arifi. We had an open and constructive discussion. I assured her that the forthcoming Progress Report will be factual and fair, reflecting the developments in the country over the last twelve months.

I welcomed the roundtable with the media that the Deputy Prime Minister chaired in Skopje on 14 September. It is a positive sign that the journalists' associations and several NGOs are committed to the dialogue. I strongly encourage all stakeholders to continue efforts to maintain the dialogue between the government and the media community to address relevant issues and find commonly agreed solutions.

We also discussed the name issue. We believe that the dialogue between Skopje and Athens has reached a momentum that should not be lost. It remains a political reality that a resolution would greatly facilitate the start of accession negotiations.

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