ATHENS, Greece/January 09, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) —Macedonia’s deputy prime minister is visiting neighboring Greece in an effort to resolve a long-standing dispute over the tiny Balkan republic’s name that has blocked its membership of NATO and closer integration with the European Union.
Bujar Osmani met with government officials in Athens Tuesday, as the two governments pledged to try and resolve the dispute before the summer.
Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. But Athens says the name implies a territorial claim over its own neighboring region of Macedonia and is seeking a so-called “composite name” solution.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Tuesday that the talks were made possible after the Macedonian government abandoned “extreme positions,” but did not elaborate.