Macedonia and neighboring Greece agree to work harder on building mutual confidence

Macedonia and neighboring Greece say they will work harder to build mutual confidence after a decade of coolness that has frustrated Macedonia's hopes of joining NATO and the European Union.

Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said both countries have also agreed to "create a climate" to resolve a festering dispute over his country's name.

Greece claims that the name Macedonia implies claims on its own northern province of Macedonia — an assertion that Skopje rejects. Greece, which insists on calling its northern neighbor the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, belongs to both NATO and the EU, and opposes Macedonia joining either body unless the name dispute is resolved.

Poposki spoke after talks in Skopje Wednesday with Nikos Kotzias — the first Greek foreign minister to visit Macedonia since 2004.