North Macedonian-Bulgarian relations remained the hottest issue among the country’s political actors over the weekend. Debates included the fact that North Macedonia has no territorial claims, that the struggle of the Macedonian revolutionaries was never motivated for territories, that there is no need for a new agreement with Bulgaria, but also asking the government for a position on Goce Delchev and the Macedonian language.
Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, on the Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle, stated that the struggle of the Macedonian revolutionaries was never motivated either for territories or for domination between them, adding that it was never oriented towards the past, but towards the future.
Yesterday, after the 25th Congress of the party, he said there is no need for a new agreement as the existing one is excellent, and clarified that there are appropriate tools and ways to resolve the problem with Bulgaria, such as a public statement, announcements, an annex to the agreement etc.
“There is no need for a new treaty. We agree on that and Bulgaria agrees as well. We have an excellent agreement that we must continue to implement. One part is what the Commission is doing. It has already solved historical characters and historical periods. The other part is what we need to strengthen in the context of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation with Bulgaria, and we have no problem with an oral statement, a written statement and the like, as accepted by international diplomacy, and that is that the Republic of North Macedonia, the state’s full name, and North Macedonia, the short constitutional name of the state, refers to the territory of our country, the Republic of North Macedonia, and in no way do we have territorial claims from any of our neighbors and to anyone in the world”, said Zaev, answering questions from journalists after the SDSM Congress.
He stressed that non-interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries, including Bulgaria, is a principle he believes in and that North Macedonia was ready to commit to intensifying the construction of Corridor 8 and strengthening economic cooperation.
According to Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi, the joint committees on both sides, which should look into differences over the terms of the agreement itself, have an obligation under the ratification of the Good Neighbors Agreement by the parliament.
“I hope that both committees will reflect on that, probably now guided by the situation. Mutually politically, the situation may heat up more than necessary, but in any case it falls within the competence of the executive; it means maintaining the right communication and entering into the appropriate solution in order to overcome all these differences regarding the potential obstacles”, Xhaferi said in an interview with Radio Free Europe.
Yesterday, the VMRO-DPMNE opposition asked Prime Minister Zaev to come out and state his position on Goce Deltchev and the Macedonian language.
“Zoran Zaev must come out and clarify whether the claims of historians who claim that Macedonia should accept the guilt for the deportation of the Jews of North Macedonia who were transferred to the Treblinka camp are true”, said VMRO-DPMNE spokesman Naum Stolikovski.
He reiterated the party’s position that, if that was accepted, it would signal the sale of Goce Delchev or the Macedonian language, and this decision would be annulled immediately as soon as the VMRO-DPMNE took office, adding that such an agreement would never be respected.
North Macedonia is due to hold its first Intergovernmental Conference with the European Union in late December, although it remains possible that it will be excluded from Bulgaria, which in its explanatory memorandum to the Member States, inter alia, disputes the Macedonian language and Macedonian nation.
German Ambassador Anke Holstein recently said that Germany’s clear goal is to hold the first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia by the end of the year, and signaled the possible non-opening of negotiations during the German presidency as a failure. /ibna