Bulgaria, Macedonia PMs Set for Important Meeting in Kyustendil

Politics » DIPLOMACY | July 28, 2013, Sunday // 11:39

Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski will meet his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski in the southwestern Bulgarian city of Kyustendil Sunday.

Kyustendil is located near Bulgaria's border with Macedonia, on the international road linking the two countries' capitals, Sofia and Skopje.

The meeting is called on the initiative of Macedonian PM Gruevski, according to a press release by the Bulgarian government.

A number of key ministers from both cabinets will be also present in Kyustendil to hold bilateral meetings.

Relations between the two neighbors have been strained since late 2012, when Bulgaria joined Greece in vetoing an EU decision to set a starting date for accession negotiations with Macedonia.

Bulgaria's grievances are against discrimination in Macedonia against citizens who determine themselves as Bulgarians, as well as against what Bulgaria sees as encroachment by Macedonia on parts of Bulgaria's historic and cultural heritage.

Bulgaria has insisted that improving relations between the two countries must be based on a so-called Friendship Treaty to be signed beforehand.

Negotiations for the treaty are under way between Bulgaria's and Macedonia's foreign affairs ministries.

Sunday's PM meeting is expected to give an important boost to the talks.

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Tags: Plamen Oresharski, Nikola Gruevski, macedonia, greece, Macedonian, EU, friendship treaty, Kyustendil, sofia, Skopje, discrimination, heritage, accession negotiations
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