Portuguese Foreign Minister Ana Paula Zacarias said her country, which holds the EU presidency until July 1 this year, hopes the dispute with Sofia will be resolved and the first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia will finally be held, according to reports by MIA Agency from Brussels.
Zacarias told MIA that EU enlargement constitutes a priority for the Portuguese Presidency sworn in on January 1st, with its term ending on June 30th this year.
She added that contacts with both sides of Skopje and Sofia were ongoing with the aim of finding a solution to the bilateral dispute that is hampering the start of negotiations with the EU.
“We have started political contacts with Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, in order to find a way to set the process in motion and to hold during our Presidency the first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia, but also with Albania.” Zacarias stated today from Brussels.
The Portuguese Foreign Minister for European Affairs added that additional political talks are needed between the two sides at this time and assured that Lisbon would implement them in a spirit of confidence. /ibna