This was announced by President Stevo Pendarovski in a television interview
The Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU expects Bulgaria to approve the negotiating framework for Northern Macedonia to the Council of the EU on general issues on June 22, said the President of the Republic of Northern Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski in an interview with Alsat M on Friday night.
Pendarovski, who met with Portuguese Foreign Minister Auguste Santos Silva in Skopje yesterday, said the Portuguese presidency had proposed an initial set of ideas on key issues between northern Macedonia and Bulgaria.
“No one expects all issues to be resolved in a week or two, not even the Portuguese presidency, which is nearing its end. Minister Silva said today that he had heard Sofia’s concerns and had come to Skopje. “To hear our thoughts on key issues. Both sides have said that some things are not negotiable. It is well known that we will not negotiate on identity issues,” Pendarovski was quoted as saying by MIA.
According to the President of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Minister Silva has asked the authorities in Skopje to clearly state their national interests.
Silva said that the Portuguese presidency will expect Bulgaria to say “yes” to the negotiating framework by June 22. Only EU member states participate in the Council, so the presidency expects Bulgaria to approve the negotiating framework by then and present a position on the initial set of ideas. “If Bulgaria wants to change these ideas, we will be informed so that we can discuss what is acceptable to us,” the President of the Republic of Northern Macedonia was quoted as saying by MIA.
Brussels has called on Sofia and Skopje to stop making statements and seek a solution – “I encourage Skopje and Sofia to redouble their efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the outstanding issues”. This was stated today before the European Parliament by the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Warhey.
He expressed hope that accession talks with northern Macedonia would begin by July.
According to him, reforms in the Balkan state must continue. Good neighborly relations are a key part of the road to the EU, Warhey said.
He added that Skopje still has a long way to go to fight corruption and organized crime, and to enforce the rule of law.
The EP’s report on the country called on parties in northern Macedonia to refrain from nationalist and provocative rhetoric, as well as calling for further reforms – deeper and faster.
The hope is that Skopje and Sofia will resume constructive dialogue in order to make sustainable progress. It is necessary to reach concessions on a plan of measures, to be evaluated continuously in accordance with the bilateral agreement, and this will allow the start of accession negotiations as soon as possible. When trust is broken, it must be restored, and the best way is to return to the foundations of the treaty.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Bulgaria had blocked the European integration process of the Republic of Northern Macedonia because of its interests, according to Macedonian sites Sloboden Pechat, Sitel, Netpress, 24 Info, MKD and others.
Rama made the assessment in a television interview with Vision Plus, quoted by the media.
Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he had not seen the unofficial document, which envisions the accession of the Bosnian Republika Srpska to Serbia and Kosovo to Albania.
“I cannot agree with the unification of Kosovo with Albania, I must respect the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Vucic said.
He said he was calling for “Serbia’s existing borders with Kosovo and Metohija, and Bosnia and Herzegovina with Republika Srpska”.
“Peace and full stability are most important to us,” the president said, adding that this included continuing talks with Pristina.
The positions of Belgrade and Pristina are diametrically opposed, Vucic said, adding that work would be done to bring them closer through talks in Brussels.