Balkans News

Zaharieva calls on Dimitrov and Zaev to read the Good Neighborhood Agreement

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is set to meet with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Sofia, confirmed Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva. She announced that she would propose to the two prime ministers to convene the Intergovernmental Commission for the Implementation of the Friendship and Neighborhood Agreement, which has not met for almost a year and a half, although in the meantime, as she pointed out, many issues have accumulated.

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister again called on the Macedonian authorities to respect and implement the Good Neighborhood Agreement and to consider the Bulgarian remarks.

We have remarks not only on the history, but also on the progress of infrastructure projects, such as Corridor 8. Everyone who travels sees what condition the connection between the two countries is in. We have been waiting for a year and a half for the program for cooperation in the field of culture and education, which we have sent, but we still do not have a response from them. Progress has only been made in the area of tourism, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic. However, this progress is not enough at all, said Zaharieva before today’s Western Balkans Summit within the Berlin Process in Sofia, which will be co-chaired by Prime Ministers Borisov and Zaev.

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister also said that Skopje should not rely on anyone pressuring Sofia to turn a blind eye to the non-implementation of the Friendship and Good Neighbor Agreement.

According to her, the accusations of the Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov that Bulgaria violates Article 2 of the Agreement by blocking Macedonia’s EU path are unfounded.

I urge them to better read Article 2 of the Agreement and it is respected by Bulgaria. It says that Bulgaria will support Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic path, sharing its experience, but that does not mean that we cannot have conditions. The statement that only Bulgaria has requirements for Macedonia to meet the criteria is not true, says Zaharieva.

However, despite the misunderstandings, she assessed the joint presidency of Bulgaria and Macedonia within the Berlin process as successful.

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