SKOPJE, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Macedonian government will seek national consensus, participation and consent by political factors and of course from the citizens before taking final stance on the solving of name issue with Greece, Macedonian Premier Zoran Zaev was quoted Sunday as saying in a televised interview.
Zaev voiced hope that the decade old name issue that exists between Macedonia and Greece would be solved by mid-2018.
Macedonia is the name of a northern province in Greece and Athens is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.
"My optimism is based on what I feel as preparedness from the Greek side through meetings with Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, but also from the talks I had with Prime Minister Tsipras and as a general assessment of the political manner in Greece," said Zaev.
He also praised the fact that the image of Macedonia in Greece has improved while he stressed that Macedonia would be able to find a solution to such pending issue by fully preserving its dignity.
"I have no intention either to sell or buy anything, no one have asked me to change the names of roads or airport. It is possible that the name dispute to be resolved through a compromise by the middle of 2018, for which there is a willingness on both sides to substantially consider the problem," PM Zaev said during the interview with the MKD.MK portal.
He assured that Macedonia would go for a compromise to the extent where the benefits would be worth plus for Macedonia.
"Both sides must make concessions and by this to create benefits and at the end to give hands and to be partners under European flag," Zaev declared, as quoted by local media.