Tue | Mar 19, 2019

British PM says courage needed on Macedonian-Greek name spat

Published:Friday | May 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
British Prime Minister Theresa May (centre) accompanied by her Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev (left) walks past an honour guard squad upon her arrival at the government building in Skopje, Macedonia yesterday.


Britain's prime minister has urged Macedonia and Greece to show courage in ongoing efforts to resolve a dispute over Macedonia's name, which has frustrated the country's aspirations to join NATO and the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says a solution will require a willingness to make difficult decisions. She spoke after talks yesterday in Skopje with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Macedonia and Greece have been at odds over the small Balkan country's name for the past 27 years. Greece says it implies territorial claims on its own northern province with the same name and on ancient Greek history. Macedonia denies that.

The dispute has prompted Athens to hinder Macedonia's NATO and EU membership bids.

May's was the first visit to Macedonia by a British prime minister in two decades.