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Skopje Accuses Serbia Of Being a Bad Neighbor For Using FYROM Name

Macedonia has accused Serbia of being a bad neighbor, saying it should stop being "disrespectful" by describing the Balkan country as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," or FYROM.

Macedonia's Foreign Ministry on January 20 described Belgrade's use of the FYROM name as "a provocation which offends the feelings of Macedonian citizens."

The government in Skopje said Belgrade was acting in an "inappropriate and disrespectful" way by using the name.

In 1991, when Macedonia gained independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, its southern neighbor Greece protested against its use of the name Macedonia.

Greece's northernmost province also is called Macedonia and Athens insists that only the Greek province should be allowed to use the name.

As a compromise, the former Yugoslav republic was allowed to join many international organizations under what was called a "provisional reference" -- the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM.

Serbia still formally calls the country Macedonia, but its foreign minister has suggested a change to FYROM, and Serbian highway toll receipts now use the FYROM moniker.

The United States, Russia, China, and many other countries use the term Macedonia -- although the country is still referred to as FYROM by the United Nations and the European Union.

With reporting by AP
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