The prime minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM), Zoran Zaev, was quoted by the country's national news agency on Tuesday as saying that phone contacts with his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, are only days away over a crucial phase in "name issue" talks.
According to the MIA news agency, Zaev said the necessary conditions are being created for the contacts with Tsipras - a "clinching" telephone call that's been repeatedly cited in press reports over nearly a week now.
Zaev's comments came less than a day after Greece's foreign minister appeared on Greece's state-run broadcaster for a one-host interview that was dominated by the fYRoM "name issue".
In revealing some details of proposals for a resolution to the obscure - by international standards - but thorny bilateral issue, Kotzias said the Greek side has rejected the "Macedonia - Skopje" name, while the government in Skopje has rejected the "Vardar Macedonia" prospect.
What remains on the negotiating table, according to Kotzias, is "Nea (New) Macedonia", "North Macedonia" and "Upper Macedonia", while referred to the ideas in Greek.