EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi Visits Sofia, Meets with Caretaker Foreign Minister and Boyko Borissov
Visiting European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi held working meetings with Bulgarian caretaker Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev and with GERB leader and former prime minister Boyko Borissov on Friday. The European Commissioner is accompanied by Augusto Santos Silva, Foreign Minister of Portugal, currently responsible for the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Minister Stoev said after his meeting with Varhelyi and Silva that no changes can be expected in Bulgaria's national position
regarding the Republic of North Macedonia. "The maintaining of good neighbourly relations and receiving the necessary guarantees about the implementation of the Goodneighbourliness Treaty remain of key significance for us," Stoev said.
Minister Stoev said that the European perspective of the Western Balkans is one of the main priorities of Bulgaria's foreign
policy, which was also a leading factor during the Bulgarian EU Presidency. He said that Bulgaria continues to be consistent in
its strong support for the Western Balkan countries' European integration, provided that the criteria for each candidate
country's individual accomplishments are observed together with the fundamental values of the [European] community, including
the principle of good neighbourliness. "We are open to active, open and meaningful dialogue with the Republic of North
Macedonia and expect to work with our closest neighbours in the region in the spirit of sincerity and constructiveness," Stoev
Earlier in the day, GERB leader Boyko Borissov conferred at his party headquarters here with Commissioner Varhelyi, GERB
said in a press release.
The meeting, which was initiated by the European Commissioner, focused on the 2017 Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness
and Cooperation between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia.
Borissov noted Bulgaria's key role for returning the Western Balkans' European integration on the EU agenda. He described
this strategic region's European future as a guarantee for prosperity and a prevention of foreign powers' interference.
Borissov noted that Europe must continue to actively work on the Republic of North Macedonia's and Albania's European
integration, while taking into account each country's positions.
The two also discussed the enlargement of transport and digital infrastructure of countries from the region. According to
Borissov, the completion of the Pan-European Transport Corridor VIII is in the whole region's interest, as it would connect the
Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
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