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Talks to Settle Greece-Macedonia Name Dispute in Final Stage

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, briefs Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on developments on the name dispute with Macedonia, in Athens, Greece May 19, 2018.

Talks to settle the long-running dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the name Macedonia are in their final stage, the two foreign ministers said Monday.

Greece’s Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov of Macedonia both say their prime ministers will take over the talks after several legal and technical issues are worked out.

Dimitrov told reporters in Brussels Monday there could be a final agreement before an EU summit at the end of June.

Macedonia is the name of a former Yugoslav republic and a historic ancient area of northern Greece.

Both countries have been feuding over the use of the name since the country Macedonia gained independence in 1991.

Many Greeks say allowing the neighboring country to use the name insults Greek history and implies a claim on Greek territory.

Some Macedonians say changing their country's name or even modifying it in a deal with Greece would be like committing treason.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has proposed changing his country's name to "New Macedonia" or possibly “Upper Macedonia” in exchange for Greece dropping its blocking of Macedonian membership in NATO.