The United Nations says progress can be made to resolve a 25-year-old dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the latter nation's name if there is "the right spirit of compromise by the leadership and by the peoples of the two countries."

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters Monday ahead of a visit to the two countries by U.N. mediator Matthew Nimetz that the United Nations backs Nimetz's assessment that in meetings with both sides "there has been some positive momentum generated."

Nimetz presented new proposals on the name dispute to both countries in mid-January and said he should know within two months whether progress can be made.

The Greek government maintains its northern neighbor's name implies a territorial claim to Greece's own adjoining province of Macedonia.