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What's in a name? Greece ready to end dispute with Macedonia

An acrimonious dispute over what neighbouring Macedonia calls itself can be solved this year, after festering for more than two decades, Greece's foreign minister has said.

Nikos Kotzias said Greece is seeking a deal on a "composite" name with universal application for the tiny country that gained independence peacefully from former Yugoslavia in 1991.

Ever since, the two countries have disagreed over the former Yugoslav province's name.

Macedonia says that was what it was called for a very long time before independence.

Greece says the name implies claims on the adjoining northern Greek province of Macedonia.

Athens is also upset at Macedonia's appropriation of ancient Greek history.

Macedonia's new government has expressed willingness to settle the dispute.

Mr Kotzias spoke after talks on Thursday with Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.


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