UN says new talks failed to solve dispute over Macedonia name
New UN-mediated talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have failed to make any advances in
solving the dispute over the name given to Macedonia by the United Nations, a
mediator said Thursday.
The Macedonian government in Skopje has been demanding that the small nation's formal name be shortened to just Macedonia. But Athens has strongly protested a change, arguing that the name historically belongs to the northern region of Greece.
The two-hour, closed-door meeting in a UN Security Council chamber in New York made no breakthrough, said Matthew Nimitz, a US diplomat who has been leading the talks for the past two years.
"We didn't solve the problem here," he told reporters. "But we'll get back to work after visiting the region."
Nimitz said talks between the two sides had not narrowed their differences, but had become only more focused. He did not say when the next round of negotiations would take place or where they would be held.
Macedonia is frequently referred to as FYROM in UN language. The current president of the UN General Assembly, former foreign minister Sgjan Kerim, provoked a row with Greece when he assumed his post under the title of foreign minister of Macedonia instead of the longer name.
FYROM was a part of Yugoslavia until its break-up in the early 1990s, dpa reported.