Bulgarian MEP: The Statement of North Macedonia’s President repeats the Hateful Rhetoric against Bulgaria
"The statement of the Macedonian president repeats the theses of the RNM for many years, that it is an insult against the Macedonian identity and the Macedonian people, if you say things that are related to the objective reading of history - for example, if you say that Gotse Delchev is a Bulgarian, born in Bulgaria family. Pendarovski's statement is very bad, because it gives the arguments of those who want to carry out attacks and hate speech against the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia who openly declare their Bulgarian identity. He should find a way to fix it," said on BNT Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovachev.
According to Kovachev, this act has a much broader meaning and is not aimed at certain people.
"This is proof that the Macedonians do not want to change their ideology and at the same time want to enter the European Union. Bulgaria cannot close its eyes to the fact that young generations are educated with this attitude against Bulgaria and how the young European generations will live together if they hate each other," added Andrey Kovachev.
Kovachev described the beating of Hristiyan Pendikov in Ohrid as a disgusting incident.
Former Foreign Minister: Pendarovski hinders bilateral relations, serves Belgrade and Moscow
“The aggression against the Macedonian Bulgarians takes place under the benevolent gaze of the authorities in the Republic of Macedonia. In the absence of action, the apologies and promises of the Macedonian authorities are not enough.
President Stevo Pendarovski does not protect the interests of his homeland, but serves the politics of Serbia and Russia in the Balkans. With his statements, he hinders the development of relations between Sofia and Skopje.”
Ekaterina Zaharieva, chairwoman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the 48th National Assembly and former deputy prime minister and foreign minister (2017-2021), said this in an interview with BGNES.
She talked about the Bulgarian position in relation to the brutal beating inflicted on the secretary of the Bulgarian Club in Ohrid, Hristiyan Pendikov, who was admitted for treatment at the Medical Military Academy, as well as about the statement of President Pendarovski, in which he allows himself to make undeserved and very insulting remarks criticism of Bulgaria, including teaching us about history.
"Bulgaria must have a very definite and sharp reaction to the statement of the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski. Unfortunately, this is not the first time he has made harsh statements that do not help the development of bilateral relations," Zaharieva is categorical.
In this regard, today she called a meeting of the Committee on Foreign Policy, at which our ambassador to the RNM, Angel Angelov, will be heard. "It is very important to hear from him, first-hand, what is the way to normalize relations, what should be the Bulgarian reaction, that they also hear the position of the people's representatives and the foreign minister," said Zaharieva.
She agrees that the relations between our countries need to be calmed down, but that is why the official authorities in Skopje must cooperate first of all, because it is not without their help that the tension towards Macedonian Bulgarians escalates. Zaharieva insists that the lists of names of Macedonian Bulgarians, which contain their social security number and addresses, be deleted by the Macedonian authorities, and not pretend that they "don't see them". "The lists are once again passed, they should be deleted and the people who distribute them should be searched," said the deputy from GERB and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Regarding the suggestions that Pendarovski made in his speech about declaring Bulgarian politicians persona non grata, Zaharieva said: "I strongly hope that the Macedonian government will not respect his request, because it will escalate bilateral relations much more. This will serve those Bulgarian politicians whom they do not want to allow into the territory of the RNM. Some of them also do not help to normalize relations."
The visit of the Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani on Sunday, during which he went to the hospital to see the condition of the beaten Hristiyan Pendikov, she described as an attempt to calm the situation. "We still heard an apology from Minister Osmani, but not from their prime minister," Zaharieva recalled, but emphasized the uncertainty in which Pendikov and the people with Bulgarian self-awareness in the RNM live.
"It is a fact that Hristiyan Pendikov does not feel safe and is afraid to return. The fact is that he preferred to be treated in Bulgaria. It is also very indicative of his trust in these visits and words. It is zero. In the absence of actions, words are not enough," said our former foreign minister.
She recalled that this is not the first time that there has been physical violence against Macedonian Bulgarians, that they are subjected to verbal pressure on a daily basis. "The lack of reaction or the reaction only in words are signs that the aggression against the Bulgarians is happening under the benevolent gaze of the authorities in the RNM," said MP Ekaterina Zaharieva to BGNES.
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