News 13 january — 17:49

Greece Sees 'Window Of Opportunity' To Settle Name Dispute With Macedonia

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Leaders of Greece and Macedonia say they have been working hard to settle their decadeslong dispute over the name Macedonia, RFE/RL reports.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he sees a "window of opportunity" to resolve the issue, and on January 11 he called on the Greek Orthodox church to restrain its strong opposition to allowing the Balkan country to use the name, which is also claimed by a northern province in Greece.

Tsipras told Greek state television ERT that he believes an agreement would benefit all the countries in the region.

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikow Kotzias this week mentioned "New Macedonia" as a name Athens might accept for its northern neighbor and said that with 100 nations already recognizing the Balkan nation as Macedonia, Athens has little alternative but to compromise.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has also given top priority to resolving the dispute, which has hampered Macedonia's bid to join the European Union and NATO.

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