President Radev Met EC President and Portuguese PM in Brussels
On Monday in Brussels, President Rumen Radev met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, said President Radev's Press Office.
The meeting was held ahead of a meeting of the EU leaders and took place on the initiative of the EC President and the Portuguese government leader, whose country holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Opportunities for making progress with the adoption of а negotiating framework and starting EU accession talks with Skopje dominated the talks.
Radev represents Bulgaria at what is the first in-person European Council meeting in 2021. On the agenda are issues related to coronavirus vaccines and the relationships with Russia, an implementation review of agreements with Britain and a discussion on EU's environment protection goals.
The Bulgarian Head of State is quoted as saying at the meeting that "European integration requires lasting and irreversible results in building good neighbors' relations".
He also said that there need to be "positive examples in relations between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as direct and open dialogue for resolving the problems".
He added that an upcoming joint commemoration of the life and work of Ss. Cyril and Methodius by official delegations of Bulgaria and North Macedonia in Rome is a good sign, and called for a show of political will in Skopje in order to achieve tangible results in the problem areas.
Radev said that the Bulgarian government is ready to engage in active dialogue with Skopje on how to solve the stocking points, and on the opportunities for stepping up the process of EU integration.
Any possible solution for opening EU accession talks with North Macedonia will be carefully analyzed and matched with a declaration by the Bulgarian Parliament from October 2019 on the matter.
The October declaration vows support for North Macedonia's accession to the EU but spells out conditions for such support.
It urges the authorities in Skopje to comply with the 2017 Friednship Treaty with Bulgaria; to oppose anti-Bulgarian attitudes; not to distort historic facts, not to encourage claims for the recognition of a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria and to respect the rights of its citizens who identify themselves as Bulgarians. /bta
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