Bulgarian Foreign Minister Invited Ambassador of North Macedonia for Conversation
Bulgaria expects Skopje to protect the right of every citizen to free self-identification. This is the stand of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry occasioned by the increasingly frequent incidents of hate speech and discrimination in North Macedonia targeting citizens who dare declaring Bulgarian self-consciousness or even sympathy for Bulgaria and its people.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva invited the acting head of mission of the Republic of North Macedonia in Sofia, Vladimir Krastevski, to a conversation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was also attended by the Director of the Southeast Europe Directorate Iva Kruleva.
Bulgarian diplomats expressed their bewilderment and disappointment at the large-scale negative campaign in the Republic of North Macedonia against Skopje's representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Vasil Garvanaliev who used Bulgarian flag in his trailer.
Bulgaria has informed of these cases representations of international and regional organizations, embassies of EU Member States and other partners.
Bulgaria will continue to make all necessary efforts in accordance with the principles of international law to protect the rights of Bulgarian citizens and citizens declaring Bulgarian identity anywhere in the world, the Ministry of Foreign Ministry assures.
We remind that at the European Council meeting on 18 October 2019 no agreement was reached on the date for the start of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.
Even before that, the negotiations between the Bulgarian and Macedonian historians in the joint committee began to skid, with the stumbling block being the figure of Gotse Delchev. The meeting on 13 September 2019 was described as the "most fruitless".
The Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Committee on Historical and Educational Affairs of Bulgaria and North Macedonia was established as a result of the Treaty on Friendship, Neighbourhood and Cooperation between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, signed on 1 August 2017 and entered into force on 14 February 2018.
Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he was not aware of any violations of the rights of citizens identifying themselves as Bulgarians.
At a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev on March 16, 2021, it became clear that Borisov was asking the Republic of North Macedonia for negotiations based on reason, not emotions.
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