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Macedonian PM says ready for talks with Greece over name dispute March 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Human rights abuses, Yunanistan.
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Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Sunday that he was ready to hold talks with his Greek counterpart about the name dispute between the two countries, according to news reaching here from Skopje.

“I am ready to meet and talk with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at any time and at any place,” Gruevksi told reporters at a ceremony to open a section of a new local road.

He also said the Greek side has “in principle” accepted his proposal for the meeting, with the date and place still to be determined.

Macedonia and Greece are locked in a 19-year-long row over the use of the name of Macedonia.

Athens insists that Skopje’s name of the Republic of Macedonia implies territorial claims toward its own northern province of the same name.

In December last year the EU postponed a decision on opening accession talks with Macedonia, citing the unresolved row as the reason.

In 2008, Athens, which is also a member of NATO, prevented Skopje from entering the organization over the same dispute.

Matthew Nimetz, the UN special envoy on the name dispute between the two neighbors, will pay a visit to Skopje and Athens at the end of this month.

Nimetz is expected to launch a fresh round of talks between the two countries. His latest visits last autumn did not bring anything substantial.



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