UN negotiator due in Macedonia in drive to end name dispute

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2018 7:03 AM

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A U.N. negotiator is due in Macedonia for talks with the country's leadership, in a revived effort to settle a peculiar but acrimonious dispute with neighboring Greece over Macedonia's name.

Matthew Nimetz has already met Greek officials in Athens, and says there appears to be momentum for solving the dispute that has poisoned the two countries' relations since Macedonia won independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

He is expected in the capital, Skopje, later Wednesday. On Thursday, Nimetz will meet Macedonia's president, government officials and opposition leaders.

The dispute has frozen Macedonia's NATO accession hopes, as Greece, an alliance member, refuses to endorse its bid until a solution is found.

Greece says the country's name implies claims on its own adjoining province of Macedonia. Skopje denies that.