“UN negotiator Matthew Nimetz has arrived in Macedonia for talks with the country’s leadership, in a relaunched effort to settle a dispute with neighboring Greece over Macedonia’s official name.

Nimetz, who has already met with Greek officials in Athens, says there appears to be momentum for solving the dispute that has poisoned the two countries’ relations since Macedonia won independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

On February 1, Nimetz will meet Macedonia’s president, government officials, and opposition leaders.

‘I think there is a momentum here and we should seize the momentum,’ Nimetz told journalists in Athens after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on January 30.

‘There’s a time for decision-making and I think we’re there,’ Nimetz said. ‘So I think, in my view, we’re talking about weeks of discussion to see where we are.’

‘I think there is a will [in Athens], and I believe also in Skopje, to try to reach a settlement,’ Nimetz said.” (RFE/RL)

This comes amidst protests in Skopje against the name change.