Macedonian premier, Greek mayor get together for dinner

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) – Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is spending the New Year’s holiday in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki as the guest of the city’s mayor.

Zaev and Mayor Yannis Boutaris were dining Saturday night in one of the city’s top restaurants, serenaded by a Macedonian band playing Balkan folk songs.

“We won’t be talking politics,” Boutaris told reporters before dinner, while Zaev did not say anything beyond wishing for a Happy New Year.

Boutaris said he extended the invitation last November, when visiting Macedonia’s capital Skopje.

The visit comes at a time when there is a prospect for thawing relations between the neighboring countries who since 1991 have been involved in a dispute over Macedonia’s name, which Greece says implies designs on its own territory.

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