The Atlantic

Could an Adjective Solve a 27-Year International Dispute?

Greece and Macedonia move to settle a longstanding argument over a name.
Source: Costas Baltas / Reuters

A 27-year-old dispute could be resolved with an adjective and a simple name-change of an airport. Or at least that’s what Greek and Macedonian leaders appear to be saying.

Nearly three decades of contention over the seemingly simple word “Macedonia”—and who gets to claim it—may be nearing an end, due largely to leadership changes on each side. Matthew Nimetz, the United Nations envoy who has been trying to help resolve the dispute since the ’90s, nowsays a solution isn’t just possible, but imminent. “I am very, very optimistic,” he last week from the Macedonian capital of Skopje following meetings with officials from both countries. “There is a window of opportunity and I think we should

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