The UN’s special representative for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, is expected to hold a fresh round of talks with Greek Ambassador Adamantios Vasilakis and FYROM Ambassador Vasko Naoumovski on November 20 and 21, respectively.
Such preparatory talks have always preceded a new round of negotiations between the two sides on an issue that has festered since the 1990’s.
The scheduled meetings were announced by FYROM’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, following talks with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar in Ljubljana.
Athens hopes that the replacement of right-wing populist ex-PM Nikola Gruevski by Naev may facilitate a compromise solution.
In the past, Greece has proposed adding a geographic marker to the country’s constitutional name, such as Republic of Northerm Macedonia for example.
Strengthened by his Social Democratic Union of Macedonia party’s major victory in last month’s municipal elections, Zaev said it is time to renew efforts to resolve the longstanding dispute.
Zaev said that he is working to forge a national consensus on the name issue.
“We are truly building friendly relations with Greece. In such a friendly atmosphere I honestly believe that a solution can be found for this crucial issue,” Zaev said.