“Greece and Macedonia say they traded draft proposals for settling a decades-old dispute over the name of the former Yugoslav republic, ahead of UN-mediated talks later this month.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on March 20 that Athens had sent its proposal to the Skopje government and was awaiting comments from its northern neighbor.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said after receiving the document that his ministry had sent its own proposals to Athens.

Dimitrov expressed confidence that the sides could overcome their differences and reach a ‘sustainable and dignified solution.’

Greece objects to the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name Macedonia, which Athens says could imply territorial claims over its own northern region of the same name.

Negotiations between the two neighbors have been inconclusive since 1991, when Macedonia gained independence from the former Yugoslavia.” (RFE/RL)