Speaking to TV24, Northern Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski said that Skopje had proposed to Sofia that talks on the historical period up to 1944 be left to historians, “and that we focus on the present.”
The President of Northern Macedonia believes that discussions should focus currently on restoring trust and secondary issues such as infrastructure, energy connectivity, cooperation in education, media and more.
“My position is that, until the elections in Bulgaria are held, we must remain committed to this group of issues alone,” Pendarovski said during an appearance on TV24’s “Open” TV show, adding that “this does not mean that “We are waiting for a new government after the Bulgarian elections, but we will wait two or three months for the dust to settle and then come together at the sober discussion table and see what we can do in that context.”
Regarding the offer of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to mediate negotiations with Bulgaria, President Pendarovski said that such mediation would raise more issues for Bulgarians than for Northern Macedonia, noting that Greek politicians, as former Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is very critical of Bulgaria’s position on northern Macedonia. As he said, in order for one to be accepted as a mediator, both parties must be convinced of their independence.
“In a typical Balkan dispute like the one imposed by Sofia, I doubt that a third Balkan state can be considered an independent mediator,” Pendarovski said, adding that “the best mediators in Balkan affairs are the strong ones and distant.”
“Personally, in my capacity as president,” Pendarovski continued, “I would have no problem with a Greek mediation, for which no formal request has been received, unless Antonis Samaras is appointed mediator.”
As for the EU country’s perspective, the head of state believes that after Brexit, Germany, France and the Netherlands have been highlighted as “engines of Europe” along with Poland by the new members, and as such they should raise the issue tables. . It would not be bad, Pendarovski said, for the issue between Skopje and Sofia to involve some Europeans because “when you put two Balkans on the table, it is very difficult for them to find a solution without outside help.”
President Pendarovski believes it is good for the Western Balkans for Northern Macedonia to be on the US common interest list
“It’s good to be under their wing. “I have no illusions, fears or reservations that Germany and America can impose an undemocratic solution on us,” Pendarovski said in an interview with TV24.