“Bulgaria is not requesting that North Macedonia changes its Constitution, and the solution is not to sign a new agreement. We already have an agreement and we must resolve the issues through the joint committees”, North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said today, when asked if a new agreement between North Macedonia and Bulgaria was being considered and whether Sofia had requested constitutional amendments.
“We already have an agreement. This is the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness with Bulgaria. This agreement resolves historic chapters that should be part of our common celebration through which we will build our friendship, and that is part of our common history. The agreement was signed in the Macedonian and the Bulgarian language; we are talking about both nations. Our Macedonian language and the Macedonian people are registered in the UN and are recognized by the whole world, due to the fact that there is still a dilemma in our friend Bulgaria’s narration “we recognize the reality of the existence of the Macedonian language and the Macedonian people”. I am waiting for a step forward and an expression of great friendship; the Bulgarian people feel it for the Macedonian people, the Macedonian people feel it for the Bulgarian people as well. I expect a clear and unequivocal statement that will confirm our Macedonian language and the Macedonian people. There is no reason, neither states recognize identity, nor are states called upon to recognize identity”, Zaev said.
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia announced that the talks of the Joint Committee on Historical Issues would continue in the upcoming period, urging that they continue with enhanced dynamics. He stressed that “the right and obligation of the Joint Committee between North Macedonia and Bulgaria is to resolve the historic chapters and historical figures, due to the stipulation in the agreement to celebrate them together and strengthen the friendship between the two countries”.
“I once again welcome the Commission’s work, ingenuity and mutual understanding, and I believe that solutions will be found to issues such as those of Goce Delchev and all those are arising. In one year, we have had solutions for five historical figures, in three historical periods and that in itself constitutes a confirmation that we continue to resolve issues, precisely in the spirit of friendship, cooperation and the strengthening of good neighborly relations between the two countries. The second part refers to the decision of Bulgaria, which is an EU member state, and all EU member states under the leadership of the German presidency on the first intergovernmental conference in December”, the prime minister said.
He expressed confidence that Bulgaria, which has been a strong supporter of the Euro-Atlantic integration of North Macedonia so far, would continue to be the biggest supporter in the future, because, as he said, in all its statements the Bulgarian side confirms it.
“I think it will happen in December, but if it does not, then we must know that we were requested something which we can neither discuss nor accept”, Zaev said, adding that he was determined to leave room for discussion in committees.
He reiterated that identity is an emotion and a right to self-determination, which certainly has great European value.
“I expect from the Bulgarian people through all their representatives to provide a clear confirmation of the existence of the Macedonian language and the Macedonian people, because it will be done by friends, brothers. And it should never be questioned. In fact, as I hear in the statements of both Borissov and others, they accept the reality of the existence of the Macedonian people and the Macedonian language and want to discuss logically about history, the common part of history, the special part of history, but I believe that solutions will be found in the spirit of friendship”, Zaev repeated.
Regarding VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski’s request for a meeting of political leaders on Bulgaria’s demands, Zaev said there was no need for such a meeting, adding that it would only delay the process of European integration for North Macedonia.
Zoran Zaev stressed that Mickoski did not have an opinion so far, nor had he rushed to something responsible to help the country’s historic platform, nor, as he said, can he now see something so necessary that will help this process. /ibna