Macedonia informed to resolve Greece dispute and implement…

There are the preconditions for the process to move forward Skopje says

Meanwhile, Macedonian media cited United Nations special envoy Matthew Nimetz saying that he was optimistic after meeting with negotiators of Macedonia and Greece on the name of Macedonia, speaking of a positive climate during the trilateral meeting.

The dispute centres on Greece's insistence that use of the word "Macedonia" implies a territorial claim to the northern Greek province of the same name.

Official Skopje also said that the right conditions exist to move forward with process of finding a solution to the name issue.

Nimetz has previously said that he doesn't think it realistic not to include Macedonia somewhere in the name.

Macedonia's must resolve a decades-long dispute over its name, implement judicial reform and build good relations with neighbouring countries to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Western military alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

Macedonia has shown that it has the capacity to carry out reforms in the spirit of NATO's values, says the alliance's chief Jens Stoltenberg.

"I welcome the willingness of your government to resolve this issue and the resolve the government has shown", Stoltenberg told Macedonia's parliament in Skopje during a two-day visit, the first by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief since 2014.

Athens and Skopje are at odds over the use of the name of Macedonia since Greece's northern neighbor broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.

But addressing the parliament in the capital Skopje, Stoltenberg said that "membership is about much more than solving the name issue".

The Foreign Ministry in fYROMacedonia is distancing itself from yesterday's statements by the country's spokesman in the name issue negotiations, Vasko Naumovski.

While praising measures already passed by Macedonia's new government, Stoltenberg called for progress on electoral and media reform, as well as greater transparency in government finances.

Amid recent optimism from both sides, as well as from Brussels and Washington, Macedonia's new government, elected in May last year, hopes for a breakthrough in the talks, which would then clear the way for the country to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation this year as well as finally start accession talks with the EU.

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