May 17, 2018 / 2:10 PM / in a year

Greece says negotiations with Macedonia over name row at 'crucial' stage

SOFIA (Reuters) - Negotiations between Greece and Macedonia on the former Yugoslav republic’s name have reached a “crucial” point but more needs to be done for a solution, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday.

“I believe we have covered a great part of the distance, but we have more to cover,” Tsipras told journalists. “We are not yet in a position to speak about a deal.”

Tsipras was speaking after meeting his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev in Sofia, where they attended a summit of EU and Western Balkan leaders.

Tsipras said he hoped for a meeting with Zaev next month and Athens hoped for a deal that would “stand the test of time.”

Zaev said earlier the two had discussed a specific proposal but that they would “need to have further discussions” in their respective countries.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou

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