Bujar Osmani (c) walks in downtown Athens as he arrives for a meeting with Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs George Katrougalos on Tuesday. [AP]
The deputy prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is visiting Greece in an effort to resolve a long-standing dispute over the tiny Balkan republic's name that has blocked its membership of NATO and closer integration with the European Union.
Bujar Osmani was meeting with government officials in Athens Tuesday, as the two governments pledged to try and resolve the dispute before the summer.
FYROM gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, but Athens says the name implies a territorial claim the region of Macedonia and is seeking a so-called “composite name” solution.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Tuesday that the talks were made possible after the FYROM government abandoned “extreme positions,” but did not elaborate. [AP]