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Envoy For Greece, Macedonia Talks To Visit Region

UN envoy for Greece, FYR of Macedonia talks on name issue to visit region

12 June 2008 - The United Nations mediator in talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said today that he will soon head to the region for further discussions in an effort to produce a breakthrough in the long-running dispute over the name of the latter country.

Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for the talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, held a meeting today at UN Headquarters in New York with ambassadors representing the two countries.

He told journalists later that both Athens and Skopje "expressed resolve to get back to work and see whether we can have a breakthrough on this issue."

Mr. Nimetz said he planned to visit the region soon for further talks, although he added that no new proposals are currently on the agenda.

"I wouldn't say the gap is closer [or that] the gap has been narrowed, but I say that the area of discussion is more focused."

Mr. Nimetz has frequently held talks with the two sides in recent months to try to reach a deal, but he said in March that there has been no progress on the issue, despite an acknowledgement by both sides that a solution was in their best interests.

The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between Athens and Skopje on the name issue. It obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the Secretary-General's auspices in a bid to reach agreement.

ENDS

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