Greece Sees 'Window Of Opportunity' To Settle Name Dispute With Macedonia

Tsipras to Archbishop: Government will pursue national interests in FYROM name talks

Tsipras to Archbishop: Government will pursue national interests in FYROM name talks

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has also given top priority to resolving the dispute, which has hampered Macedonia's bid to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Macedonia is unable to be a member of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation because of the ongoing naming dispute with Greece, which constitutes a big problem for the country's future.

Greece's Archbishop Ieronymos is adamant that said that the Church can not remain indifferent to the "Macedonia" name dispute.

Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, who visited Athens recently, defined 2018 as a "historic year" for bilateral relations.

"It is a national issue that can not leave the Church of Greece indifferent", Ieronymos told the Board of the Holy Synod that was summoned last night (local time) with the participation of four Bishops from Northern Greece, all opposing to the inclusion of any term that related to the "Macedonia" name in the new FYROM title.

The groups will be led by the country's foreign ministers.

Recent reports also said that he would also consider the Slavic name Makedonija.

On the other hand, the Macedonian government plans to go to a referendum on the name issue while Greece will approve the name that will be agreed upon in the parliament.

It is also being said that the issue may raise a dispute between the ruling Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party and its smaller coalition partner right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party.

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikow Kotzias this week mentioned "New Macedonia" as a name Athens might accept for its northern neighbor and said that with 100 nations already recognizing the Balkan nation as Macedonia, Athens has little alternative but to compromise. Local media have also announced the stance of the Greek Orthodox Church, according to which, the name "Macedonia" is not accepted as a solution.

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