Macedonia said it was ready to agree to a proposal by the UN’s special envoy to change its name and thus resolve a long-standing dispute with Greece, but that the decision would have to be approved in a nationwide referendum.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said that his country could agree to UN envoy Matthew Nimetz’s proposal to rename the country “Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)”.
Skopje is the capital of the small country and its name coincides with Greece’s southernmost province, an issue which has led Athens to block the country’s EU accession talks.
Milososki also says that his letter, which was reportedly sent two weeks ago, was intended to counter accusations by Athens that his country had shown no flexibility in attempting to resolve the long-standing dispute.
However, Macedonia’s foreign minister insisted that the new name could be adopted only after a popular referendum.