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Macedonia, Greece to resume talks on name issue
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22:02, April 29, 2008

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Macedonia and Greece are to resume the talks on their name dispute in New York on Tuesday, according to news reports from the Macedonian capital Skopje.

Matthew Nimetz, UN mediator in charge of the dispute, will hold separate talks with Macedonian envoy Nikola Dimitrov on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Greek negotiator Adamantios Vassilakis on Thursday and Friday.

Nimetz said it is unlikely to put forward a new proposal on the name. He will listen to the stance of both countries, and is expected to come up with a new framework later which will serve as a roadmap for future negotiations.

The name issue has dogged the two neighbors for the past 17 years. Athens has been opposed to its neighbor being called the "Republic of Macedonia," arguing it implies a territorial claim over a northern Greek province also called Macedonia.

Macedonia's NATO membership was blocked by Greece over the name dispute between the two countries earlier this month at a NATO summit in Romania.

Greece has been firm in its stance to find a mutually acceptable solution to the name and urges its northern neighbor to reach a compromise.

"Greece invites FYROM anew to display the resolve and political spirit that will secure its accession to NATO and, if all requirements are met, to the European Union tomorrow," Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis wrote in Tuesday's edition of the Washington Times.

FYROM is the acronym for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, under which it joined the United Nations in 1993.


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