Tuesday, July 03, 2007

U.S. sticks to its position on Macedonia's constitutional name

U.S. ambassador to Macedonia has said that the U.S. position on Macedonia's constitutional name -- the Republic of Macedonia -- will not change, news from Skopje reported on Thursday.

"In 2004, we recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, which is a policy that hasn't been changed and it won't be changed, " Gilian Milovanovic said in an interview with the Skopje weekly Forum Plus.

She also said that as long as Macedonia is prepared to complete the necessary work the country has solid prospect to get an invitation for NATO membership next year, MIA, Macedonia's official news agency, reported.

Macedonia got independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and entered the UN under the name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But it prefers its constitutional name: the Republic of Macedonia.

Greece is at odds with Macedonia over its name, which Athens says implies territorial claims to the northern Greek province of Macedonia, and fiercely opposes its northern neighbor uses the same name.

Greece has threatened to seek veto on Macedonia's NATO and EU bids, unless the name dispute is resolved.

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