Zaev says deal closer than ever as name talks to resume


A few days before talks resume between officials from Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) about the latter's officials name, FYROM premier Zoran Zaev has said that Athens and Skopje have never been closer to a solution. 

"I believe the conditions have never been better for us to achieve a comprehensive and lasting agreement," Zaev told Agence France-Presse, adding however that failure to reach a deal would not be “the end of the world.” 

Talks are to resume on Wednesday amid concerns about a loss of momentum in a United Nations-mediated drive to settle the name dispute between Greece and FYROM. 

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov will also meet with United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz in Vienna. Key points of contention are FYROM’s constitution and the scope of use of its new name.  

Last week Kotzias said there was not enough time for FYROM to join NATO at the alliance’s summit in July, chiefly because Skopje has said that it intends to put any deal reached to a referendum.