Tsipras, Zaev to meet in Sofia on May 17, says UN mediator

Tsipras, Zaev to meet in Sofia on May 17, says UN mediator

The Prime Ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, will meet on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on May 17, UN mediator Matthew Nimetz said on Saturday, after a six-hour meeting with the foreign ministers of both countries in Athens.

Speaking to the press, Nimetz said Foreign Ministers Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov had a “very serious meeting” during which they engaged in “hard, intensive and positive work” to prepare the meeting for the two leaders.

The two countries are hoping to sort out differences over the name dispute that have soured relations for over two decades and blocked FYROM's aspirations to join the European union and NATO.

Athens and Skopje are reportedly examining a scenario whereby the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will be given enough time to approve a deal that will ensure that its name will be used “erga omnes” – domestically and internationally – and to review its constitution.

According to this scenario, FYROM will be immediately inducted into NATO and will begin accession talks with the European Union once it approves these two key Greek demands.

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