Ministry of Foreign Affairs: It is time for Skopje to renounce manipulations

It is time for the government of the Republic of North Macedonia to renounce the manipulative thesis that Bulgaria disputes the right of self-determination and the identity of the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia or their right to name their language as they wish. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with a statement made by the government of the Republic of North Macedonia.

On Tuesday, Bulgaria once again stated its position, which was expressed at the General Affairs Council meeting, why it cannot give its consent at this stage to the approval of the negotiating framework between the EU and the Republic of North Macedonia and to holding of the first intergovernmental conference before the end of 2020. The Bulgarian position is based entirely on the framework position on EU accession, which was adopted on 9 October 2019 and was approved by the Bulgarian Parliament. It defines the terms and conditions under which Bulgaria would further support the EU integration of the Republic of North Macedonia.

Bulgaria's proposals, submitted for inclusion in the negotiating framework for the Republic of North Macedonia, are based on clear precedents, but unfortunately, they have not been discussed by the current Presidency. They are also in line with the Council of the EU's conclusions of 25 March 2020, which emphasise on the importance of achieving tangible results and conscientious implementation of the bilateral agreements between the Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria and Greece as part of the enlargement process. At this stage, the draft negotiating framework does not contain the guarantees which Bulgaria needs in order to support its approval. Bulgaria will continue its constructive efforts during the next presidency of the Council of the EU.

Unfortunately, in the last year, the Republic of North Macedonia has bet on a diplomatic and media campaign for discrediting the Republic of Bulgaria's positions, as it has repeatedly presented to the public false information regarding them.

It would be difficult to find support from Bulgaria while using an inherited totalitarian historical narrative. Bulgaria was the first country in the world to recognise the independence of the then Republic of Macedonia, which started the process of international recognition of the young state. Moreover, Bulgaria provided support in the most difficult moments over the years. This support continues even now.

However, the Republic of Bulgaria cannot accept the fact that the recognition of the identity of the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia can be achieved in confrontation with the neighbouring countries and to the detriment of their national interests. In light of its responsibility not to bring unresolved issues into the EU and to protect the Union's interests, values ​​and authority, the Republic of Bulgaria will continue to seek lasting solutions that will allow further development of the bilateral relations and optimal negotiation process between the Republic of North Macedonia and the EU.

More on this subject: EU accession

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