United Macedonian Diaspora

Dear friend of Macedonia:


I am currently watching the markup hearing of H.R. 2583 - Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012 at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Yesterday morning, or late the night before, the pro-Greek members of Congress managed to insert a text, which is highly offensive and quite problematic for U.S.-Macedonia relations.  See Page 52-54 of following PDF:  http://hcfa.house.gov/112/ROSLEH_078.pdf 


The committee is about an hour or two from taking up this anti-Macedonian text!!!  Your help is needed urgently!!!  You can watch the markup hearing by clicking here: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearings_markup.asp 


To summarize, the Title VIII, Section 806 of H.R. 2583 refers to Macedonia as "FYROM" and expresses the sense of Congress "that all United States assistance to the "FYROM" should be conditioned on the "FYROM's" willingness to engage in meaningful discussions with Greece in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 817." 




Yesterday, UMD Fellows Bryan Furman, Gordana Stojkoska, and I held meetings with the staff of members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to have this text blocked and/or amended.  UMD had to rally up a lot of support, and several members of our UMD Council, Board, and members throughout the U.S. got behind the phones and e-mails working to get Section 807 blocked.


Macedonia's name is not "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as stated in the text of Section 807.  This is a temporary provisional name at the United Nations.  The United States, under President Bush in 2004, recognized Macedonia as the Republic of Macedonia, and this policy has continued under President Obama.  As of today, 131 other countries have also recognized Macedonia by the rightful and constitutional name its citizens have chosen for their country.


In fact, Greece's own former top diplomat to Macedonia, Dora Grosomanidou, stated on July 8, 2007, to the Financial Times that "Greece has to face the new reality, as the [ ] Republic of Macedonia has been recognized under its constitutional name (Macedonia) by more than half of the members of the UN."  The use of FYROM is offensive to Macedonian-Americans, and it is mentioned several times in the document.


Are we going to let the pro-Greek lobby in Washington, D.C. succeed?!  NO!  I need your help!


We need to strengthen the Congressional Macedonia Caucus!  Yesterday, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee joined the Caucus, which is a major success!  Membership is increasing, but we need your help to get it larger!  Click here http://www.capwiz.com/tca/issues/alert/?alertid=12566361&type=co to send a letter to your member of Congress urging them to join the Macedonia Caucus.  It only takes 30 seconds, and we need you to do this TODAY!  And send this to all your contacts!


You may ask how will this help if the Committee is taking up the text in an hour or two?!  Well, the larger our Caucus, the better the chances we will have to combat all future such pro-Greek lobby efforts.  Some of the members of our Caucus joined because they received 2-3 letters, so 2-3 of you can make a difference!  Also, if this text passes at the Committee level, we still have time to make sure it does not pass on the House floor!


Another reason is the more members of the Caucus, the more who will then sign letters to President Obama and Secretary Clinton putting pressure on them to support Macedonia, Macedonia's name, and put the pressure on Greece.  Just maybe then we will not get statements like "The government in Skopje needs to know that it will not be able to move forward on its European integration until it does resolve this (issue). And, obviously, Greece has to be willing to accept how the name is resolved," from Secretary Clinton on her recent trip to Greece this last Monday. 


The statement from Secretary Clinton must be "Macedonia's name is Macedonia and Macedonia will join NATO and EU; Greece must stop preventing the future of its neighbor by blocking its European integration."


I need you to be an Ambassador for Macedonia in your neighborhood!  If you get a letter back, send me a copy at mkoloski@umdiaspora.org.  I also suggest calling your member of Congress and asking whether they will join the Caucus today!  Phone numbers can be found at http://www.house.gov.  


As the day goes on, we will keep you posted on the progress we are making on the Caucus and on the text of Section 807.


Don't wait!  I need you to act urgently now!


Most respectfully,


Metodija A. Koloski


PLEASE SEND YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS A LETTER TODAY BY CLICKING HERE:  http://www.capwiz.com/tca/issues/alert/?alertid=12566361&type=co


UMD needs your financial help to continue its process and combating anti-Macedonian sentiments.  Consider donating today by clicking HERE.  (Canadians, click HERE).  All donations in the U.S. and Canada are tax-deductible, and you will receive a tax-receipt.