In its bid to join the NATO alliance, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is willing to consider provisional names so as to overcome Greek objections, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
“I will ask Greece to reconsider what kind of neighbor they want — do they want a stable, friendly country that offers hope for democracy and justice?” said FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov in an interview to the paper.
“If we are a good neighbor, then hopefully political forces in Greece will realise this is a historic opportunity," he added.
Dimitrov told the paper it was too soon to discuss any specific name proposals, but said he would meet Greek ministers on Wednesday in an effort to restore confidence between the two countries.
Greece had vetoed the Balkan nation’s application to the alliance in 2008.
FYROM calls itself Macedonia, but Greece rejects the name as, it asserts, implies a territorial claim to the northern Greek province with the same name.
Greece has also vehemently denounced FYROM for lifting ancient Greek history in order to justify its claim to the name Macedonia.
The country’s former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski had caused a national outcry in Greece when he renamed airports and motorways after Alexander the Great, the warrior king who created an empire stretching from Greece to India.