The Foreign Ministers of Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic met yesterday in Skopje with the President of Northern Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani.
During their visit to Skopje, the Foreign Ministers of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, Slovenia, Ange Logar, and the Czech Republic, Jakub Kulhanek, expressed their countries’ support for the Portuguese-EU Presidency initiative to resolve the dispute between the North Macedonia and Bulgaria and they supported the start of EU accession negotiations with Skopje.
Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic say North Macedonia should start accession talks with the EU immediately.
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said that the joint mission of the three foreign ministers in Skopje was intended to send a message that the resolution of all issues on the part of North Macedonia in the process of European integration should be duly appreciated and that the start of accession negotiations has been delayed for a long time and there should be no further postponement.
He added that Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic strongly support the Portuguese initiative to hold the first intergovernmental conference between Northern Macedonia and the EU (which also marks the start of accession negotiations).
According to a statement from the Office of the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pentarovski, the Foreign Ministers of Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic expressed the need to hold the first EU-North Macedonia Intergovernmental Conference, as soon as possible, as any further delay will affect the credibility of the EU enlargement process.
President Stevo Pendarovski stressed that North Macedonia particularly appreciates the continued and tangible support of Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic for its integration into the EU and European institutions.
North Macedonia can not yet start accession negotiations with the EU due to Bulgarian objections./ibna