Greek minister upbeat on FYROM name settlement

Greek minister upbeat on FYROM name settlement

Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos has hailed progress in talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the decades-old name dispute, noting that a solution appeared “close.”

“We are very close to a settlement. I am optimistic because there is willingness on both sides,” Katrougalos told a radio station Tuesday.

“The burden is on the other side,” he said without explaining further.

In the same interview, Katrougalos played down the threat of the government’s right-wing coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL), blocking an agreement with Skopje.

“If a deal is reached, it will be so clearly beneficial that I would be surprised if any party were to raise objections,” he said.

On Monday, the foreign ministers of Greece and FYROM said they had concluded the main round of negotiations to end the long-standing dispute, with the final stage of talks to be led by the countries’ prime ministers.

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