Caption: Tea for three - Her Majesty’s British Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr Charles Garrett (centre), preparing for his own Makexit after his posting finished soon. Pictured with him are prominent supporters of Macedonia’s “Colour Revolution” - leading Serb media pundit Borjan Jovanovski on the right of photo and Vlatko Vasilj on the left. Source: Twitter, November 2015. more on the Colour Revolution at this link
by Sasha Uzunov
The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr Charles Garrett, is busy reading his own Makexit, that is finishing his term and leaving Macedonia, that he has been unable to respond to questions about Macedonia put to him by TEAM UZUNOV blog.
Mr Garrett leaves behind a country on the threshold of changing its identity and an uncertain future, as controversial name negotiations with Greece reach their epilogue. Greece has opposed the use of the name of Macedonia, since the country declared its independence from then Yugoslavia in 1991. It has blocked EU and NATO membership unless Macedonia changes its name - in essence blackmail, extortion.
Ms Biljana Radeva, a spokeswoman for Ambassador Garrett, issued this statement:
“I would like to inform you that unfortunately due to the absence from Post of the ambassador in the past weeks and his busy agenda ahead of his departure, we will not be able to provide answers to your questions for the interview.”
SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: questions that were put to UK Ambassador Garrett
Question 1: What do you make of the fact that no pro US / pro NATO rallies have been held in Macedonia? Nor any protests outside the Russian Embassy?
Question 2: in over 20 odd years not one protest has ever been held outside the Serb Embassy in Macedonia -over Serbian nationalism ie the 1999 US Embassy attack in Macedonia by Serb extremists and links to recent local corruption - by Macedonian and Serb “civic” activists in Macedonia [ie Colour Revolution]. Yet many of these people are staunchly pro US and Pro NATO - but hold the exact same chauvinistic views towards native ethnic Macedonians held by some Serb nationalists in Belgrade who hate the US, NATO and the EU.
What do you make of this contradiction, paradox? Does it not undermine public support for NATO in Macedonia? Even the US Embassy in Macedonia has not denied the Serb chauvinism of some of its supporters. See link here:
Question 3: Serbia is the former colonial ruling power in Macedonia - from 1912 to 1941 - is it not culturally insensitive for people of Serb background in Macedonia to attack Macedonian statues? [An analogy would be say white South Africans attacking native Black African statues]
Question 4: Are you concerned with the rise of neo Albanian fascism and extremism in Macedonia? Albanian politicians have over the past decade or so built a number of controversial statues to Albanian World War II Nazi collaborators in Macedonia. The issue has been brought to the attention of the German Deputy Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr Marco Acquatacci, who has given a statement. However, the US remains silent on the issue. link:
Question 5: Is it fair for Greece and Bulgaria to blackmail Macedonia to give up its identity as a "trade off" to join the European Union? Is it too big a price?
Question 6: The EU has largely not pressured Greece or Bulgaria to give basic human rights to ethnic Macedonians in those EU member states but has pressured Macedonia over ethnic Albanian rights which in reality surpass local Balkan and international standards. What are your thoughts on this blatant contradiction?
Question 7: In 2008 the US Embassy in Macedonia warned about introducing formal bi-bilingualism in the country implying it would lead to the disintegration of Macedonia. What are your thoughts on the issue of bilingualism in Macedonia?
Question 8: The United Kingdom is leaving the EU, is it not a contradiction for the UK to be pressuring Macedonia to change its name in order to get into the EU?
Question 9: Australia is a close ally of the US and UK but is not a member of NATO. Couldn't Macedonia have a comprehensive military treaty or pact with the US which would keep it within the western alliance but without having to give up its identity to join NATO? A kind of win-win compromise for all concerned...
Question 10: another option is for Macedonia to apply to join the (British) Commonwealth like say Rwanda, a former French/Belgian colony, in order to come under the Western umbrella without surrendering its identity. Your thoughts about this idea?