In comments aired by local television station TV21, the foreign minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, has said that the use of the term Macedonia is not an exclusive privilege of Greece.
His comments came as diplomats prepare for exploratory talks this week as part of the latest United Nations-mediated bid to resolve a longstanding name dispute between Greece.
The channel quoted Dimitrov as saying that the term should be used "by both countries on equal terms."
He noted Greece's concern that there is a "clear distinction" between his country and the Greek region of Macedonia, saying it was important for his country that there are no doubts as regards "matters of identity."
"We must find a decent way to explain it and process it," the TV station quoted the minister as saying.
"The term Macedonia does not belong explosively to Greece or to 'Macedonia' as it relates to a large geographical region and in that sense the real answer to irredentism is the principle of non exclusivity," the minister was quoted as saying.