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UN envoy to hold Macedonia 'name' talks with Athens, Skopje

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UN envoy Matthew Nimitz will visit Athens and Skopje this week to try and start talks over a long-running name dispute between the two countries, Greece's state-run NET TV said on Monday.
ATHENS, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - UN envoy Matthew Nimitz will visit Athens and Skopje this week to try and start talks over a long-running name dispute between the two countries, Greece's state-run NET TV said on Monday.

Greece recently vetoed Macedonia's NATO-membership invitation over the 17-year-long dispute with Athens, which objects to Skopje using the name Republic of Macedonia. Athens says the name implies a territorial claim on Greece's northern province of Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Macedonian lawmakers voted to dissolve parliament and call early elections Saturday over the quarrel with Greece. New elections in Skopje have been set for June 1.

Initially Greece insisted that Skopje remove the word "Macedonia" from its name, but later said it would agree to a "composite" making it possible to clearly tell the republic and the province apart, such as "New" or "Upper" Macedonia.

Currently, Greece, as well as the UN and other international organizations, refers to its neighbor as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). But over 120 countries, including the U.S., Russia and Canada, officially recognize the country as Macedonia.

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