Macedonia is the name of a Greek province considered to be the center of the ancient empire of Alexander the Great. Athens sees the name to be part of its own cultural heritage and fears that the use of the name by its neighbor implies a claim to parts of its own territory.
A fresh effort to solve the dispute
between the two Balkan neighbors is being led by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, who according to reports has proposed five possible options for the country's name: Republika Nova Makedonija (Republic of New Macedonia), Republika Severna Makedonija (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Republika Gorna Makedonija (Republic of Upper Macedonia), Republika Vardarska Makedonija (Republic of Vardar Macedonia) and Republika Makedonija (Skopje).
Meto Koloski, president of the United Macedonian Diaspora told Sputnik the latest proposal of Mathew Nimetz "is probably by far the worst possible proposal we've seen and an embarrassment of the UN system."
"Macedonia should withdraw from the discussions at the United Nations. Macedonia's name is Republic of Macedonia; it is recognized by 137 countries worldwide, including 4 of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. We call on the Macedonian government to withdraw and submit a resolution to the UN General Assembly calling for full recognition of the country as Republic of Macedonia," Mr. Koloski told Sputnik.
An online petition
by the UMD — calling on the government in Skopje to withdraw from the name negotiations – has so far gathered over 23,000 signatures.