AWM apologises for Macedonia misnaming

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony and parade, was as usual accompanied by a wreath laying for Australia’s fallen soldiers, attended by many high-level dignitaries, international diplomats, and students. Sadly, during wreath laying, the announcer made a mistake that raised an issue of protocol. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was announced as “Macedonia” over the loudspeaker to lay a wreath. The incident deeply disappointed the Greek Australian community, since the naming dispute has been an ongoing bilateral as well as international relations issue. FYROM is still the official name used by both the UN and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Considering there has been no resolution to the matter, and with lack of geographical and historical qualifiers, FYROM continues to appropriate ancient Greek Macedonian historical symbols and figures, calling the specific diplomatic delegate to represent “Macedonia” was seen as an insult.The Ambassador for Greece in Australia, Haris Dafaranos, sent a letter to the director of the Australian War Memorial Dr. Brendan Nelson, highlighting the national importance of the formal appellation used in accordance with UN and DFAT. The protocol department of the AWM, reassured the ambassador that the matter was brought to the attention of the Memorial’s management and will not occur again. The AWM, apologised for the misnaming of the Republic’s representative, perfectly sustaining the fact that the name “Macedonia” is historically associated with Greek culture. Mr Nelson referred to the predicament as an “oversight” in checking the details of the ceremony. It was an unintended error not bound to be repeated in the future, as the long lasting friendship between Greece and Australia is highly valued.last_img

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