European Commissioner for enlargement Stefan Fule, in a written statement issued on Thursday, said that resolving the name dispute remained a key issue for the accession prospects of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The Commissioner's statement was issued after a meeting here with FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
Fule stressed that the two sides must remain dedicated to finding a solution, either under the auspices of the United Nations or through direct talks.
The Commissioner said that Gruevski had briefed him on the latest developments concerning the name issue and noted that 2011 could be a "year of opportunity" for the accession course of western Balkan countries.
He also underlined that the Commission wanted FYROM to be included in the nations of the regions that will play a leading role in efforts for European integration.
Fule said that the recommendations adopted by the Commission in October 2009 for the start of accession negotiations with FYROM remained in force, as did the Commission's position that there must continue to be progress in reforms within the country.