Macedonian party leader says international diplomats must help solving name dispute with Greece

The leader of Macedonia’s largest ethnic Albanian party has recommended international diplomats step in to help the country resolve its long-standing name dispute with neighbouring Greece.

The dispute, which is hampering Macedonia’s attempts to join NATO and the EU, has been going on for more than three years.

In 2008, Macedonia fulfilled key requirements to be considered eligible for NATO membership however politicians from Greece blocked it from joining at the Bucharest Nato Summit the same year.

One year later, after the European Commission recommended starting Macedonia’s accession talks, Greece again stood in its path.

Two conflicting views lie at the heart of the dispute. Greece insists that Macedonia’s name implies territorial claims towards one of its own provinces, which also carries the same name. Macedonia, which has been independent since 1991, asserts the right to decide on its own name.

To break the gridlock, Ahmeti recommended holding an international conference where diplomats and politicians from other countries could help facilitate discussions.

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