EU official: Progress in 'name issue' talks; Tsipras-Zaev phone contact on Tues.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 20:13

By N. Bellos

A European official in Brussels on Tuesday referred to progress in negotiations between diplomats from Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) towards resolving the thorny "name issue", which still prevents a full normalization of relations.

The same official, however, warned against expecting an agreement between Athens and Skopje by a Thursday meeting in Sofia, although it was possible next month.

According to the European source, a positive development in "name issue" negotiations would create a positive climate not only for fYRoM's accession course, but for all of the regional countries knocking on the Union's door for membership.

The statements coincided with telephone contacts on Tuesday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Council President Donald Tusk, ahead of the latter's meeting with fYRoM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Sofia.

EU leaders will meet in the Bulgarian capital on Thursday with the heads of six southeast European candidate-states.

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