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UN Chief Pledges Action On Macedonian Name Dispute

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (left) with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Skopje.
SKOPJE -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pledged to Macedonia's parliament that he will try to speed up the process of resolving Macedonia's long-running name dispute with Greece.

Ban's visit is the latest stop on the UN chief's tour of Balkan countries. He also met in Skopje with President Gjorge Ivanov.

Macedonia and Greece have been locked in a name dispute since the former Yugoslav republic gained independence in 1991.

Athens has blocked Macedonia's membership of NATO because of the row, arguing that the name Macedonia implies a territorial claim over its northern region of the same name. Skopje rejects Greece's claim.

More than 130 nations recognize the country as Macedonia, but it is still listed at the UN under its provisional name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.