Bulgarian President to PM of North Macedonia: Let's Make Progress on Important Topics
“I am very pleased with the work of both governments. In a short time, with a large size, in a number of important areas, you also work on a time schedule, which sector group, when and what to do. Let us try to introduce the same approach to solving open political problems. Let us finally clarify what are the short-term tasks we need to solve before we start negotiations. I hope that we will not delay this process any longer, but let us make sure that we have clear time limits for resolving other issues. We need to have much more frequent communication, open dialogue in order to move forward on these important topics.” This was said by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev at a meeting with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovachevski.
“Bulgaria and RN Macedonia can be good partners in many key sectors”, Dimitar Kovachevski confirmed.
“We have formed a commission in the field of European integration. We have agreed on a new dynamic of work, which will have concrete results that will benefit the citizens of both countries. I believe that on March 1 we can have the Sofia-Skopje flight. Corridor 8 is also part of the priorities. In the field of education, the exchange of scientific knowledge and experience is important. The Erasmus program as well. We can be an example of how to develop a region,” Kovachevski said.
“I think we have the capacity to resolve these issues. A solution can be reached through open and sincere dialogue. Bulgaria has been a member of the EU for 15 years, not only to open the door for RN Macedonia but also to share the experience”, said the Prime Minister of North Macedonia.
“I expect the new atmosphere of trust to help resolve the unresolved political issues between Bulgaria and RN Macedonia, which hinder our dialogue and, above all, hinder the opening of the door so that the RNM can start negotiations for the European Union,” Radev said.
He welcomed the two governments' efforts to deepen bilateral relations and the negotiation process.
“In parallel with the work on sectoral issues related to the development of infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, culture and education, we cannot ignore these remaining unresolved political issues, because they are extremely important for security, prosperity not only of Bulgaria and RNM but also of the whole region,” the president said.
Radev advocated for the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians, saying it was time for their rights to be enshrined in the RNM Constitution. He demanded the removal of hate speech and respect for Bulgaria's cultural past. According to him, if these things become a fact, it will open the door of the RNM to the EU.
“Then Bulgaria will be the country you can count on the most for the integration of RNM in the EU,” Radev added.
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