by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Athens sent on Friday mixed signals on the progress on talks with Skopje for the resolution of the name row.
The possibility to reach an agreement within the next few days appears to become remote, a Greek government official said anonymously.
"The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) side does not appear ready to fulfill what was agreed upon by the two foreign ministers in Brussels... The communication between the two countries' prime ministers by telephone also appears more remote," he said in an e-mailed comment.
However, speaking to press, Deputy Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis suggested on Friday that nobody should rule out a deal yet.
"It would be an unacceptable haste for anyone to reach premature conclusions on the end of these talks and negotiations," he said, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.
Following a new round of negotiations in Brussels on Sunday evening with his FYROM counterpart, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had indicated on Monday that significant steps have been made.
"The work on ministerial level was finished and after some clarifications of technical and legal aspects, the texts that have been drawn up will be given to the two prime ministers, who will talk to each other and reach the final agreement," he had said.
Speaking on Greek national broadcaster ERT on Thursday evening, parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis said that the telephone conversation between the prime ministers was due within 48 hours.
The row between Athens and Skopje started in 1991 when FYROM declared independence from Yugoslavia choosing the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek province.
Greece is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.
In recent months, UN-mediated talks to resolve the issue have intensified and both sides many times expressed optimism that a deal could be sealed before the EU's June summit which will explore EU's further enlargement.