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Macedonia Asks To Join NATO Despite Greek Opposition

Macedonia has urged NATO to accept it as a member when the alliance holds a summit in Chicago in May, despite Greek opposition due to a long-running row over its name.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov wrote in a letter to NATO leaders that the Balkan country should be able to join the military alliance.

Greece says the use of the name Macedonia suggests a territorial claim to the northern Greek province of the same name.

Skopje says that changing the name would be a denial of its national identity and language.

An invitation for Macedonia to join NATO was on the agenda of NATO's 2008 Bucharest summit but was suspended due to a Greek veto.

Macedonia was admitted to the United Nations in 1993 under the provisional name, the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia."

Compiled from agency reports