Radev Stresses Principles of Good Neighborliness in Response to North Macedonia's Election Outcome

Politics | May 9, 2024, Thursday // 11:10
Bulgaria: Radev Stresses Principles of Good Neighborliness in Response to North Macedonia's Election Outcome

Following the victory of Gordana Siljanovska Davkova from VMRO-DPMNE in North Macedonia's presidential elections, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev reaffirmed his support for the European integration of North Macedonia. However, Radev emphasized the importance of adherence to the principles of good neighborliness and the Copenhagen criteria for membership.

In a statement, President Radev underscored the necessity for North Macedonia to enact constitutional changes and ensure the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians, advocating for a rejection of hate speech, revision of textbooks, and preservation of Bulgarian cultural heritage. Radev's comments come amidst concerns over divisive rhetoric during the election campaign and the need for constructive dialogue between the two nations.

"My position regarding the Republic of North Macedonia has always been open and consistent. I have always supported the European integration of the Republic of North Macedonia, but in compliance with the principles of good neighborliness and above all the Copenhagen criteria for membership - this means a change in the constitution and respect for the rights of the Macedonian Bulgarians. Refusal of using the language of hate, which was rampant in this election campaign, revision of textbooks, respect and protection of the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage."

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova pledged to unify the nation and addressed diplomatic concerns, including relations with Bulgaria. She emphasized the need for constructive engagement with neighboring countries, stating, "I don't believe that using a veto is constructive for fostering good relations." Meanwhile, outgoing President Stevo Pendarovski graciously conceded defeat, expressing his commitment to North Macedonia's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Pendarovski noted that despite his vision for a multi-ethnic Macedonia, it did not garner majority support.

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Tags: Bulgarian, president, north macedonia, European

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