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The world court ruled Monday that Greece was wrong to block Macedonia's bid to join NATO in 2008 because of a long-running dispute over the fledgling country's use of the name "Macedonia."

In a 15-1 ruling, the court found that Greece's veto breached a 1995 deal under which Greece had agreed not to block Macedonia's membership in international organizations if it used the name "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" while the matter was submitted to U.N. mediation. More than 15 years later, discussions over the name are still unresolved.

Although the question of Macedonia's name is sometimes seen as superficial by outsiders, it is a matter of deep concern for both sides. The young country has used the name in one form or another since shortly after World War II, when it was a province of Yugoslavia, but Greece sees use of the name as historically inaccurate at best and a potential threat to its territorial integrity at worst.



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