Premier Rodney MacDonald is congratulating Nova Scotia MP Peter MacKay on his appointment as Minister of Atlantic Gateway. The new position was made official Thursday, Oct. 30, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his new cabinet in Ottawa. “This is great news for the Atlantic region and, in particular, for Nova Scotia,” Premier MacDonald said. “Peter MacKay has been a champion for us and no doubt his presence in this role will be a benefit to the province.” Premier MacDonald wrote to Prime Minister Harper earlier this month encouraging him to consider adding a Minister for Atlantic Gateway to his cabinet. “The Atlantic Gateway is a vital piece of national strategy in reaching out to Europe,” said Premier MacDonald. “I look forward to working with Minister MacKay in his new role.” Atlantic Gateway projects include: a multi-transportation corridor to Halifax’s Ocean terminal, a Gateway Logistics Park adjacent to Burnside Industrial Park, the Burnside Connector, twinning Highway 104 from Antigonish to Port Hawkesbury, a new refrigerated terminal at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and dredging of Sydney Harbour.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Personal Envoy Matthew Nimetz added that the venue and time for the talks will be determined at a later date.Representing Greece at the discussions will be Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, while the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be represented by Ambassador Zoran Jolevski. This will be the first meeting between the parties since the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia instituted proceedings against Greece in November 2008 at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, alleging that Greece blocked its application to join NATO in violation of an agreement between the two countries. When they last met in New York in October, Mr. Nimetz presented a new set of ideas to both sides for their consideration. In the past, the Special Envoy has proposed several compromise names but Skopje and Athens remain far apart on what they consider to be a satisfactory name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between the two countries on the issue. It also obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to try to reach agreement. 12 January 2009Talks between the representatives of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the name of the latter country will take place in New York on 11 February, the United Nations official spearheading the discussions announced today.