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ATHENS – Greek officials walked out of a meeting of foreign ministers of NATO states in December because the United States refused to change the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic (FRYOM) from Macedonia in documents.

Greece and FYROM have been locked in a bitter battle for more than two decades of what the composite name should be for Greece’s northern neighbor, although all forms so far include the use of the word Macedonia, the same as the Greek territory which abuts it.

Kathimerini said Greece filed a letter of complaint from then-Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos to US Secretary of State.

It stated that Venizelos was “deeply disappointed” that the Americans disrespected Greece and an agreement which said that FYROM is the accepted name of the country for now.

The Foreign Ministry felt the move was specifically designed to put pressure on Greece over the longstanding dispute, the newspaper said.

Greece said the answer has to come from Skopje, the FYROM capital’s leaders, but that it must include a geographical qualifier although the name Macedonia will still be part of it.

Despite all that, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Poposki agreed on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Riga on March 7 that the two countries should embark on some confidence-building measures, the same kind of talk that has gone on for more than 20 years without producing a single result.

Source: The National Herald
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