Greek FM Kotzias begins landmark visit to Skopje


Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias arrived in Skopje on Thursday evening for a landmark visit, the first by a Greek official in 12 years, as talks between the two sides appear to be edging towards a resolution on the longstanding “Macedonia” name dispute.

Kotzias, who touched down at Skopje’s international airport at around 7 p.m., was scheduled to have dinner with his counterpart Nikola Dimitrov ahead of talks on Friday with him and other officials of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Arrangements were made for Kotzias’s trip after Skopje renamed its international airport, removing the name of the Greek warrior king Alexander the Great.

Apart from symbolic gestures made by both sides, there has been progress on the crux of the issue, with Greek and FYROM officials said to be close on resolving the matter of the name and concerns about irredentism though obstacles remain.