UN mediator starts talks in Macedonia on dispute with Greece
SKOPJE, Macedonia – A U.N. envoy has started talks with Macedonia's leadership over ending a long-running dispute with neighboring Greece over the country's name.
Matthew Nimetz met Macedonia's president Gjorge Ivanov in Skopje Thursday and will also see government officials and party leaders.
Greece says the country's name implies claims on its own province of Macedonia — home of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the Great — and wants it changed. That charge is denied by the Macedonian government.
NATO member Greece has blocked Macedonia's accession to the alliance until a solution on the name is found.
Nimetz, who has already met with Greek officials in Athens, says there appears to be momentum for solving the dispute that has poisoned the two countries' relations since Macedonia won independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.