Greek official says deal with Macedonia unlikely within days

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A Greek government official says prospects are receding for an agreement within days on the name dispute that has soured relations between Greece and Macedonia for 27 years.

The official says Macedonia appears unprepared to comply with an initial framework agreed by the two neighboring countries' foreign ministers earlier this month.

Greece argues that Macedonia's name implies claims on the neighboring Greek province of Macedonia. Macedonia denies that.

The Greek official also said that a planned phone call between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia's Zoran Zaev "will most likely be deferred."

He spoke on the customary condition of anonymity.

Zaev had said the phone call would take place by Friday. He also said that Skopje and Athens have never been closer to an agreement on the dispute.