SKOPJE, Macedonia – The United Nations' special envoy for Macedonia says he is "encouraged" by the stance of the country's new government toward resolving its long-running dispute with Greece over Macedonia's name.
Matthew Nimetz met in Skopje with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov Monday in a bid to restart talks stalled for three years, and said he detected a "positive atmosphere." However, he said more work is needed, and urged both sides to "think very seriously about their positions and listen carefully to the other side."
Macedonia and Greece have been at odds since 1992 over the Balkan country's name, which Greece says implies territorial claims to its northern province of the same name. Due to that issue, Greece blocked Macedonia from joining NATO in 2008.