NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has urged Macedonia to resolve its dispute with Greece over the country's name in time for it to begin alliance entry in July along with Albania and Croatia.
Macedonia had hoped to win an invitation to begin NATO entry talks at this month's alliance summit in Bucharest. But Greece blocked the process because of the name dispute.
De Hoop Scheffer spoke in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, after talks with the country's President Branko Crvenkovski and Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki.
The former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia shares its name with a region of northern Greece. Greek officials say Macedonia's use of the name implies a claim on Greek territory. Macedonia denies this and says it has met all the criteria for NATO membership.
Macedonia's failure to gain a NATO invitation contributed to a political crisis in the country that led to the scheduling of early parliamentary elections June 1.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.