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Northern Macedonia: Accession talks to be resolved after Bulgarian elections, Zacarias says

Portugal’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Paula Zacarias has expressed hope that Bulgaria’s July 11th parliamentary elections will resolve Bulgaria’s veto on the start of EU accession talks with northern Macedonia, which holds the rotating EU presidency in 1 July, to help find a solution to the problem.

Zacarias told Bulgarian National Radio that Bulgaria’s position should be respected and that disputes should not arise in the EU.

“This is a very difficult debate, especially for Bulgaria, it is about the history, the cultural identity of the two countries, as well as the future cooperation. They are currently working on a roadmap that will help them co-operate, and Bulgaria will have guarantees that when Northern Macedonia joins the EU, things will go smoothly, Zacarias said.

According to her, Northern Macedonia went through difficult negotiations with Greece, due to which it changed its name. At the same time, the problem between Sofia and Skopje is very difficult, because it is related to the linguistic and cultural dimension of both countries.

“New elections will be held in Bulgaria on July 11th and I think the Bulgarian authorities are waiting for the results before deciding how to act,” Zacarias said.

He said it was very important not to enter into disputes between the two countries in the EU and that Bulgaria was being pressured to compromise.

“I do not think it was the right time for a solution. Bulgaria needed more time to discuss these issues. Whether there will be an election or not, I think that negotiations with Northern Macedonia should continue, especially regarding the roadmap, which should be clear. Both sides are trying to articulate their position – Bulgaria has always said it does not oppose northern Macedonia joining the EU, instead it wants to be there, says Portugal’s Deputy Minister of European Affairs, whose country holds the presidency. BE. in the first half of this year.

Zacarias concludes that some aspects need to be clarified and adds that more time, more attention is needed and that the debate should continue./ibna

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