Greece, Macedonia talks focus on name change

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Greece, Macedonia talks focus on name change
Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias listens to a question during a news conference with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Kotzias said that a compromise is needed in a decades-long dispute with Macedonia over the former Yugoslav republic's name. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The Foreign Ministers of Macedonia and Greece have begun a new round of talks aimed at resolving a name dispute between the two countries by the end of June.

Nikola Dimitrov of Macedonia and Greece’s Nikos Kotzias met at the lakeside resort of Ohrid in southwestern Macedonia Thursday as part of United Nations-assisted negotiations that started last summer.

Greece has accused the former Yugoslav republic of laying claim to its territory and ancient heritage, and wants the tiny nation to add a modifier — like “North” or “New” — to the name Macedonia. Both sides have committed to a name change but remain at odds over constitutional guarantees and descriptions of ethnicity and language.

Athens says it will lift its veto to Macedonia’s accession to NATO if the dispute is resolved.