Turkey: Greece shouldn’t impose name on Macedonia

February 12, 2018

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, left, and Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev inspect a military honour guard before their talks at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. Zaev is in Turkey for an official visit.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s prime minister says it’s wrong for Greece to dictate what Macedonia’s official name should be, but adds that he hopes the two neighboring countries can resolve their dispute “amicably.”

Speaking at a joint conference with visiting Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Monday, Binali Yildirim said: “it is wrong for another country to determine the name of a country.”

Macedonia and Greece have been at odds for a quarter-century over the name Macedonia, but have pledged to resolve the dispute by the summer. Greece says the country’s name implies claims on its own province of Macedonia and wants it changed.

The squabble has prevented Macedonia from joining NATO.

Zaev said the best solution was one that would pave the way for Macedonia’s NATO and European Union membership.

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