Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: Political crisis in FYRO Macedonia raises serious concerns

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: Political crisis in FYRO Macedonia raises serious concerns

Sofia, March 23, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe

The internal political crisis in FYRO Macedonia, caused by revelations of human rights violations and mass wiretapped phone conversations,including of diplomats from third countries, raises very serious concerns, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said, while declining to comment on allegations that Bulgarian diplomats in Skopje were wiretapped.

In an interview with Bulgarian news agency Focus posted online on March 19, opposition leader in Skopje Zoran Zaev was quoted as saying that Bulgarian diplomats were among foreign envoys who had been wiretapped. The Bulgarian embassy in Skopje had been sent the recordings, as had other foreign embassies, Zaev said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, responding to the purported comments by Zaev, said that in accordance with internationally established diplomatic practice, it not comment on matters of such nature.

“We hope that the developments in the neighbouring country will allow us to continue to adhere to this practice.”

At the same time, the Foreign Ministry emphasised that “the internal political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia, caused by revelations of human rights violations and mass wiretapped phone conversations,including of diplomats from third countries, raises very serious concerns”. Bulgaria’s policy is to refer to the country by its constitutional name.

“There is a need of an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into the allegations, ” the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.

“The current situation leads, unfortunately, to the conclusion that the construction of all elements of a country based on the rule of law is not yet complete. Only the finalisation of this process would guarantee the lasting stability of the Republic of Macedonia and the realisation of its ambitions for integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.”