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North Macedonia

Zaharieva: We are not satisfied that we had to say “No” to Northern Macedonia

“Bulgaria is not satisfied with the fact that it had to say ‘no’ at the beginning of the negotiations between the Republic of Northern Macedonia and the European Union,” said Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.

The Bulgarian Minister stressed that the problems between Sofia and Skopje are related to the fact that Northern Macedonia is failing to implement the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness signed in August 2017 by the Prime Ministers of the two countries, respectively Boyko Borissov and Zoran Zaev. The other unresolved issue lies in the fact that hate speech against Bulgaria continues.

“30 years after the changes, they are raising one generation after another to hate Bulgaria. We are not happy with the fact that we had to say “no”, but in their books they still only call our people “fascists”. “Yes, Bulgaria was an ally of Germany, but the people of Bulgaria saved their Jews,” Zaharieva told Asen Genov on his show.

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister said that unresolved bilateral issues, such as Skopje, are obstacles to the continuation of the European integration process and must be resolved before any call for negotiations. This is a key EU principle.

“That is why every candidate country has to solve any pending problems not only with the Member States but also with its neighbors,” Zaharieva said. “We are working to resolve these issues, but we must not turn a blind eye to the falsification of history and hate speech.”

Asked why Bulgaria is not developing infrastructure with Northern Macedonia on the №8 Corridor that is expected to connect the two countries, the Foreign Minister said, “The railway has reached the border; I can not finish something that does not end anything.”

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