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Name row between Greece, Macedonia edging towards solution – Merkel

Macedonia is closer than any time in the last decade to settling a long-standing dispute over its name with Greece, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. Athens earlier thwarted Skopje’s ambitions to join NATO and the European Union over the dispute. “I am very pleased and relieved that… there is movement in the talks,” Merkel said at a joint news conference with Macedonian Premier Zoran Zaev. “In the last 10 years, the solution has not been as close as now and it would be wonderful if the remaining difficulties can be bridged,” Reuters quoted her as saying. Greece objects to the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name Macedonia, arguing that it could imply territorial claims over its own northern region of the same name.