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August 10, 2022
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Kyçyk urges not to miss the opportunity for Northern Macedonia until the end of the year

Bulgarian officials yesterday took a stand on the adoption of a negotiating framework for northern Macedonia, paving the way for the first intergovernmental conference by the end of the year, under German chairmanship of the EU. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, however, instructed the neighbors not to be the brakes, but the engine of our integration process.

Bulgarian MEP and rapporteur for Northern Macedonia Ilhan Quchuk called on the EU to give a strong, pro-European signal that it sees Northern Macedonia and the entire region as an integral part, not only geographically, but also politically and economically.

Until the Berlin process meeting on November 10, there is no time for major decisions. “It would be a loss if this opportunity is lost during the strong German presidency”, said Quçuk /

“I know this is not easy. But we must be reasonable. “Let us do everything possible… both the Government and the politicians to show more courage”, said Kyçyk.

He sees the wording “common” as a great achievement of the Good Neighbor Agreement between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, because the common past, common history and common roots, according to him, will lay a very strong for a common future ”.

“The commissions from the Bulgarian and Macedonian side have achieved a lot. History is not an easy topic to talk about. Nobody says to give up this conversation, but time must be given. If the Prespa Agreement solves a problem with the Greek Republic and eliminates it once and for all, wanting to show that the past of the two sides has nothing in common, then the Bulgarian agreement with the Republic of Northern Macedonia begins a process – for said that everything was common “, said Qyçuk

The ultimate goal is to be together in the European Union and this is the strategic interest of Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia and the European Union, says the Bulgarian MEP, but notes that the intensity in this process has been lost.

“Citizens’ feelings exist on both sides of the border and we should not play with them and they are dictated by the unclear positions of what we want and where we want the region to be,” Kyçyk added.

However, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said yesterday that at the moment Bulgaria could not agree to start talks on Northern Macedonia’s membership in the European Union.

She stressed that Bulgaria supports the countries of the Western Balkans on their path to the EU, but stressed that Bulgarian support for Northern Macedonia “has never been unconditional”.

“There is an Agreement on Friendship and Good Neighborliness, which was signed in 2017, but the provisions do not compare. In Skopje, they are trying to get away with it, Zaharieva said, adding that in recent months Bulgaria has warned several times that it may not approve the first intergovernmental conference or the negotiating framework between northern Macedonia and the EU.

Asked if it is possible to change Bulgaria’s position on the start of talks under external pressure, Zaharieva is adamant that “this will not happen”, stressing that the Bulgarian government is the only one regarding the issue of Northern Macedonia.

She stressed that good will is needed for the implementation of the Good Neighbor Agreement, emphasizing that “the non-acceptance of the historical truth leads to very serious problems in the relations between the two countries.”

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev stressed that Bulgaria is a responsible member of the EU and will not allow unresolved bilateral issues to undermine EU unity.

“To that end, the steady and continuous progress of the Republic of Northern Macedonia is necessary in building good neighborly relations with Bulgaria,” Radev said.

According to Radev, Bulgaria expects to receive clear legally binding guarantees under the influence of external factors that the unity of the Bulgarian nation and its cultural and historical heritage, as key elements of national identity, will never be questioned.

Foreign Minister Osmani called on “our European friends to recognize the moment and not to miss the chance to finalize the end of the year as well as it started.”

“The Balkan countries belong to the European family – geographically, historically, in terms of culture and values, and they see their future as part of the European Union. The perspective for EU membership is a mobilizing factor for successful implementation of reforms and facing the challenges it faces “, added Osmani.

Germany, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, has on several occasions stated that its goal is to hold the first intergovernmental conferences with Northern Macedonia and Albania by the end of the year, which means the official start of membership negotiations. two

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