News 13 january — 16:38

New page expected in Greece-Macedonia name dispute


Intensified negotiations and bilateral meetings between Greece and Macedonia in the recent year have increased expectations for the solution of a quarter-century-old name dispute between the two countries, Anadolu Agency reports.

Macedonia is unable to be a member of the EU and NATO because of the ongoing naming dispute with Greece, which constitutes a big problem for the country's future.

The new government of Macedonia under Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has accelerated negotiations with Greece to solve the problem.

Greece does not want its neighbor to have the name 'Macedonia', because of the existence of a region in Greece with the same name.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said that there is a "window of opportunity" for solution of the Macedonian issue. Zaev has also said there is possibility of a solution in the first half of 2018.

Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, who visited Athens recently, defined 2018 as a "historic year" for bilateral relations. He added that a solution will be reached in the first half of this year.

Media reports said during the negotiations the name "New Macedonian Republic" was discussed.

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