Bulgaria Extends Hand to Macedonia Despite EU Talks Delay
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said he believes that Tuesday's General Affairs Council decision on Macedonia was wise.
After the last General Affairs Council meeting, Macedonia remains without a fixed date for the start of negotiations with the EU on the country's membership bid. EU's Foreign Ministers decided to reexamine the issue no earlier than the spring of 2013 and under the condition that by that time Macedonia would adhere to certain requirements.
Plevneliev has declared that he respects the decision, noting that it has pointed out key problems and that the stances of all EU member states have been taken into account.
The Bulgarian President further stated that Bulgaria has "extended its hand to Macedonia" and that the two countries "share a common goal."
He told reporters that the personal relations between Bulgarians and Macedonians are good.
On Tuesday, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and PM Boyko Borisov, at a meeting in Sofia, made it clear that Bulgaria will not support setting a date for the start of talks for Macedonia's EU accession.
The two pointed out a perceived lack of constructive stance of authorities in Skopje towards Bulgaria as the reason.
Bulgarian leaders have long complained of what they see as Macedonia's unwillingness to admit share historical heritage and even as attempts to claim part of Bulgaria's culture as Macedonian.
In past months, Bulgarian President Plevneliev and Foreign Affairs Minister Mladenov have upped the rhetoric against a perceived "anti-Bulgarian campaign" carried out by authorities in Skopje.
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