Macedonia's president has confirmed that the United States has informed him of plans to officially recognize his country as the "Republic of Macedonia," a decision that drew protests from Greece.

President Branko Crvenkovski hailed the development as a great day for his Balkan country.

Earlier, Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis summoned the U.S. Ambassador in Athens to protest the development. Greece objects that it has a province of the same name.

In a statement, Mr. Molyviatis said he has canceled a trip to the European Union summit in Brussels to deal with the issue. The United States has recognized the Balkan country as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" since the early 1990's

Greece has been at odds with the former Yugoslav republic over the name "Macedonia," since 1991 when it broke away from what was then Yugoslavia. 

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.