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Macedonia optimistic about name dispute January 3, 2011

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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Macedonia President Gjorge Ivanov says that he is convinced there will be an agreement in the his country’s name dispute with neighboring Greece.

Ivanov told reporters in Skopje on Saturday that his country believed there can be a solution, and that this was the reason they were taking part in negotiations.

He also stated a meeting was possible in late January between representatives of Greece and Macedonia and UN envoy Matthew Nimetz.

“We expect that meeting… and it should bring a dynamic into the process and enable for a final solution to that problem which has burdened us for almost two decades,” said Ivanov.

Greece has contested Skopje’s right to use the constitutional name of “the Republic of Macedonia”, considering that a northern Greek province is also called Macedonia.

Athens blocked Skopje’s NATO membership bid on account of this, while the country joined the UN as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FRYOM).

The latest proposal tabled by Nimetz is for the country to be called “Northern Macedonia”.

Skopje, however, pointed out that the change of the name was not the only problem, with its officials saying that Greece “also wants to change the name of the Macedonian nation, language, passports and other elements of national identity”.

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