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Turkey sides with Macedonia in name dispute July 10, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Turkey.
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Turkey is supporting Macedonia on the road to NATO and the EU, as well as in its name dispute with Greece.

This is according to Turkish Ambassador to Skopje Arslan Hakan Okcal, who pointed out in his farewell speech at the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee that Ankara “believes in Macedonia’s role in the Balkans and Europe”.

The ambassador also stressed that Turkey supported Skopje in the dispute with Athens regarding the former Yugoslav republic’s constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia.

In April 2008, Greece blocked Macedonia’s accession into NATO until the dispute over its name has been resolved. Macedonia is also an EU candidate, but accession negotiations still have not begun due to the dispute.

Greece claims that the name Macedonia refers to the ancient northern Greek province. The UN has been unsuccessfully mediating in the dispute that has been ongoing for almost two decades.

In the early 1990’s, Skopje became a UN member under the temporary name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

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