Macedonia: Latest name compromise is 'final'

Macedonia's government is ready to ask parliament to consider a new name for the country to end a dispute with Greece, FM Milososki said on Friday.

Macedonia: Latest name compromise is 'final'
Macedonia's government is ready to ask parliament to consider a new name for the country to end a dispute with Greece and clear the way for its membership of NATO, Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said on Friday.

Referring to a United Nations mediator's suggestion that the former Yugoslav republic change its name to "Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)", he said: "After 15 years of talks we think that this proposal is final in this process."

Milososki declined to say whether his government accepted the compromise name but said parliament would probably discuss the proposal on Monday.

It would be the first time a proposed name change has made it as far as the national assembly.

Talks in New York earlier this week did not produce any sign of compromise.

"The positions of the two governments are still different. There isn't a meeting of the minds on what a name would be," United Nations envoy Matthew Nimetz said after the talks on Tuesday with Greek ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis and Macedonia's ambassador Nikola Dimitrov.

"I used the opportunity to give my views to the parties and outline what I thought a reasonable solution would be," Nimetz told reporters, declining to detail his proposals.

It was not clear whether Greece would accept "Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)" as a compromise.

Pressure to resolve the dispute has intensified on the eve of a NATO summit in Romania on April 2-4, at which Balkan states Croatia, Albania and Macedonia are to be considered for membership of the Western alliance.

Greece threatens to veto Macedonia's move unless it changes its name, which is the same as Greece's northernmost province.

NATO and the European Union are eager to see a solution to the dispute for the sake of stability in the Balkans.


Agencies

Last Mod: 29 Mart 2008, 22:25
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