Macedonia will meet all conditions for visa liberalisation with the European Union in March or in April, its Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Tuesday during a trip to Slovenia.
Getting visa-free access to the 27-member EU for Macedonians is a priority for Macedonia's conservative government which faces the tough task of resolving a row with EU member Greece over its name before it can set a date for EU membership talks.
"In about two months technical preparation will end so in March or April the Republic of Macedonia will be able to say clearly and loudly that it did everything for visa liberalisation," Gruevski told a news conference during his two-day visit to Ljubljana.
"I hope the Schengen zone countries will stick to their principles and adopt a just decision to abolish visa regime for Macedonia," he added.
The country, whose name is the same of the northern province of Greece, won official EU candidate status in 2005.
Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor told the same news conference "there is a serious possibility for the liberalisation of the visa regime to take place in the middle of this year".
Slovenia has been a member of the EU since 2004 and has joined the EU's border-free "Schengen" zone in 2007.
ReutersLast Mod: 27 Ocak 2009, 16:40