Zaev sees opportunity to resolve Macedonia name dispute with Greece in 2018

The first half of 2018 can offer a good opportunity to resolve the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said in statements to reporters on Tuesday.

“The first six months of 2018 will be a very good opportunity to finally find a solution to this problem and for [FYROM] to finally move forward: to get a date for the start of accession negotiations with the EU and automatically activate the invitation to join NATO,” Zaev said.

While there were no negotiations on the Macedonia name issue at the moment, he said, the contacts taking place with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz showed a determination on both sides to resolve the issue, he noted.

Greece objects to the use of the name ‘Macedonia’ by its northern neighbour, which is the same as the adjacent Greek province of Macedonia, on the grounds that it misrepresents the region’s history and geography while fuelling possible irredentist tendencies and claims.