Macedonia and Greece eager to find solution on name dispute

The Macedonian and Greek foreign ministers say both their countries have entered into "essential" negotiations to resolve a decades-long name dispute over the former Yugoslav Republic's name.

Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias said Friday during a joint news conference in the Macedonian capital Skopje that a solution was needed as an "investment for the future."

Greece's foreign minister will also be meeting Macedonia's prime minister and opposition leaders before returning to Athens later Friday.

The two countries have been at odds for a quarter-century over the name "Macedonia," which Greece claims harbors territorial aspirations on its own northern province of the same name. The dispute has prevented Macedonia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, from joining NATO and the European Union.