Talks to end Greece-Macedonia name dispute near final stage

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The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia say they have concluded the main round of negotiations to end a long-standing dispute over the Macedonia name, with the final stage of talks to be led by the countries’ prime ministers.

Foreign ministers Nikos Kotzias of Greece and Nikola Dimitrov of Macedonia met in Brussels on the sidelines of a European Union meeting Monday. In separate statements, they said further negotiations on the name issue would be directed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev.

Zaev’s government has committed to modifying the republic’s name to address Greek concerns that the current name implies a territorial claim to Greece’s Macedonia region.

In return, Athens has promised to lift its objections to Macedonia’s NATO membership.

The Republic of Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.