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FYROM Willing to Change Name to End Dispute with Greece

Nikola-GruevskiFYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski says he would be open to change his country’s name in the hope of ending a 24-year long dispute with Greece.
Since 1991, when Yugoslavia broke up, Greece accuses Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for adopting the name “Republic of Macedonia” after Greece’s northern region name and appropriating important aspects of Hellenic culture – like Alexander the Great – in order to form a national identity, arguing that the neighboring country is in fact a Slavic state.
Greece has vetoed FYROM’s accession to NATO and the European Union over the name.
Now FYROM seems willing to discuss the issue again with Greece and let its people vote on a potential name-change.  “We are ready to discuss, to open dialogue with them, and to find some solution,” Gruevski told The Guardian.
“We would like as soon as possible to go to dialogue with Greece to find a solution, and if we find a solution, we have to go to the citizens and organize a referendum,” Gruevski said. “Through dialogue we have to find some solution, and after that to ask the citizens: Is this right or not right?”
FYROM’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki is expected in Athens on Thursday for talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias. “Conditions are more than ripe” to resolve the dispute, Poposki told Kathimerini newspaper ahead of his visit.
This is the first visit of a FYROM official in Greece since 2004. Kotzias had visited Skopje in June saying: “We want all our neighbors to be members of the European Union, because our own country, to great degree, is dependent on what happens in the Balkans as a whole.”
In 2007 Greece had agreed that it would consent to a composite name including the word Macedonia as long as it includes geographical qualifications.

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