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Macedonia, Greece meet for new round in disputed name talks

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Vienna (dpa) - Athens and Skopje launched another run at resolving a long-standing dispute over the name Macedonia on Friday in Vienna, as Foreign Ministers Nikos Kotzias of Greece and Nikola Dimitrov of Macedonia met for UN-brokered talks.

The negotiations, led by UN envoy Matthew Nimetz, took place only one week after the two chief diplomats met in Skopje.

The Balkan neighbours have been wrangling about the name since the former Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991, with Athens accusing Skopje of stealing the name from the modern-day Greek province and usurping its ancient Hellenic heritage.

The two sides have improved their relations enough to relaunch the talks recently and said they made progress towards resolving the row, but challenges to find a compromise acceptable to both sides remain.

Greece demands that the northern neighbour change its name and adopt one with a geographical qualifier, with "Upper Macedonia" reportedly on the table.

Athens also wants Skopje to amend the constitution and give up its claim of Macedonian identity and language and seal any agreement in an irreversible manner.

Because of the row, Macedonia was admitted to the United Nations under the provisional name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the country‘s bid to join the NATO alliance has been blocked.


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