Hungary expresses support for Macedonia's EU entry

08:22, May 13, 2011      

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viltor Orban said Thursday that Macedonia should start accession talks for the European Union "as soon as possible."

"Macedonia belongs to Europe and it is in European interest the country to begin EU membership talks soon," Orban, whose country holds the EU presidency, said after a meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in the Macedonian capital of Skopje

Macedonia was granted EU membership candidacy at the end of 2005, but no date has been set for the start of accession talks due to its 20-year-old name dispute with its southern neighbor Greece.

Athens insists that Macedonia's name implies territorial claims against its own northern province, also called Macedonia, and asks Macedonia to change its name.

"It is not my job to take sides in Macedonia's bilateral relations with another country, but it is in the interests of Europe and the EU for Macedonia to become an EU member as soon as possible," Orban said.

Source: Xinhua
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