22 May, Tuesday

Greece says far from a deal on Macedonia name row


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Greece said on Tuesday it was “far away” from resolving a decades-long dispute over Macedonia’s name despite progress in talks between the two neighbors.
“In our continuing talks with our neighbors, there has been significant progress but we are still far away from concluding negotiations and reaching an agreement,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev are expected to meet in Bulgaria on Thursday on the sidelines of an EU-Western Balkans summit.
Tzanakopoulos said their meeting will be “very useful and important” but a deal was not certain and the two sides might need a new round of talks to resolve the dispute.
The row began in 1991, when Macedonia broke away from the former Yugoslavia, declaring its independence under that name. Greece has disputed it since.


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