FYROM appears to welcome Avramopoulos proposal

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has welcomed a Greek proposal aimed at resolving the long-standing name dispute between the two countries, a report said Thursday.

FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki sent a letter to Athens on Tuesday, a month after his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos tabled a proposal aimed at a solution, the Euractive website reported on Thursday.

On October 4, Avramopoulos proposed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two Balkan neighbors. According to the proposal, both sides would commit to respecting each other's national sovereignty and territorial integrity; renounce any present or future territorial claims; and, finally, pledge to carry on negotiations to resolve the deadlock.

The letter, allegedly given to Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas, welcomes the Greek intention to move the issue ?decisively forward,? the report said.

So far, there has been no official response from the Greek government.

FYROM is a candidate for European Union membership, but its progress towards EU and NATO membership has been hindered by a dispute with Greece over the country's official name.

Athens rejects the name ?Macedonia,? which it says implies territorial ambitions toward Greece's own northern province of Macedonia.