VIENNA (AP) — The foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece were meeting in Vienna Friday in a United Nations-mediated effort to resolve a decades-old dispute over the former Yugoslav republic’s name.
Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias were meeting with the U.N.’s Matthew Nimetz in the latest round of talks over the issue, which has been lingering since Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
The two countries have been at odds for a quarter-century over the term “Macedonia,” which Greece argues implies territorial aspirations on its own northern province of the same name.
The dispute has prevented Macedonia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, from joining NATO and the European Union. It has been admitted to the United Nations under the formal name “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”
A recent change of government in Macedonia has fueled hopes an agreement can be found, although intensified talks have also met with major demonstrations in both countries by those who don’t want to see any compromise.
Friday’s meeting was being hosted by Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.