Macedonia Puts Four Options Forward to Resolve Name Dispute
Macedonia has put forward four options to settle the decades-long dispute with Greece over its name, the country’s prime minister, Zoran Zaev, said on Tuesday, quoted by the Guardian.
Macedonia and its larger southern neighbour, Greece, have agreed to step up negotiations this year to resolve the disagreement which has frustrated Skopje’s long-held ambitions to join Nato and the European Union.
Athens, which like all members of both organisations has a veto over admissions, objects to the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name Macedonia, arguing that it, along with articles in Skopje’s constitution, could imply territorial claims over its own northern region of the same name.
Macedonia hopes the issue can be resolved in time for an EU meeting in June and a Nato summit in July, and is proposing a geographical qualifier to ensure there is clear differentiation between the two names.
“The suggestions are: Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Upper Macedonia, Republic of Vardar Macedonia and Republic of Macedonia (Skopje),” Zaev said following a western Balkans summit in London.
Asked whether he thought Greece would be happy with one of the options he said: “Yes … They have more preferred options and some not so preferred options.”
He said the questionremained as to whether there was a real need to change Macedonia’s constitution, something Greece has also asked for in recent months.
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