“Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev says his country is ready to add a geographical qualifier to its name in a bid to resolve a 27-year-old dispute with neighboring Greece over the name of the former Yugoslav republic.

‘I want the negotiation process [with Greece] to succeed, we are ready for a geographic designation and I will stop here since I know this is a sensitive issue,’ Zaev on February 6 in the Macedonian capital, Skopje.

Greece’s objections to Skopje’s use of the name Macedonia since the country’s independence in 1991 has complicated bids by the former Yugoslav republic to join the European Union and NATO.

Athens says the use of the name Macedonia suggests Skopje has territorial claims to Greece’s northern region of Macedonia.

Leaders of the two countries have said progress has recently been made in settling the dispute, with indications that any agreement could include Macedonia adding ‘Upper,’ ‘New,’ or ‘North’ to its name.” (RFE/RL)