UN court hearings into Macedonia name dispute
The UN's highest court will hold public hearings next week in the hopes of settling a 20-year-old row between Greece and Macedonia about the former Yugoslav state's name.
Macedonia will address the court on Monday and Tuesday, followed by Greece on Thursday and Friday, according to a schedule published by the International Court of Justice.
Both countries will make final statements on Monday and Tuesday the following week before the judges retire to consider their judgment.
In an application filed in November 2008, Macedonia claimed that Greece violated its rights by objecting to its application to join NATO.
It asked the court to order Greece "to cease and desist from objecting in any way, whether directly or indirectly, to (Macedonia's) membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nor any other international multilateral and regional organisations and institutions of which (Greece) is a member."
The two countries have been at loggerheads since Macedonia proclaimed independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.
Greece has blocked Macedonia's bid to join the European Union and NATO until it changes the name, which is the same as that of a northern Greek province.
Athens says the use of the name implies a claim on Greek territory.
UN-led negotiations have proven fruitless.
Macedonia was recognised by the United Nations in 1993 under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
More than 120 nations, including Russia and the United States, have recognised the landlocked Balkan country under its constitutional name: Republic of Macedonia.
© 2011 AFP