This is a landmark meeting. For the first time at such a high institutional level Bulgaria accepts representatives of the Macedonian Bulgarians.
With these words, President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev received in the presidency the delegation of the Bulgarian community in the RNM, which includes representatives of the Political Party Civil Democratic Union (GDS), the associations “Cultural Center” Ivan Mihailov “-Bitola,” Tribune “-Prilep,” Macedonian Bulgarian friendship “-Skopije,” Corridor 8 “-Skopje,” Interaction “-Ohrid,” Edinstvo “-Kochani, a BGNES reporter reported.
Bulgaria stands firmly behind the Macedonian Bulgarians, Radev said, stressing that he has already expressed this position to the EU during his meetings with French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel.
The strength to stand up for this position is due to you. Bulgaria will be guided by your will, Radev addressed the representatives of organizations of Bulgarians in RNM.
This meeting is an indication of the unity of the Macedonian Bulgarians, without it we cannot adequately protect your rights. However, Bulgaria cannot interfere in your unity. Everything must be subordinated to the big goal – the protection of the rights of Bulgarians, Radev added and recalled that the Neighborhood Agreement states that we have the right to defend the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians.
The President also supported the call of the organizations, sent on October 12 to the political parties and institutions in our country.
It should be clear that in addition to protecting your rights, we have a broader interest in RS Macedonia, but in any case your interest will be paramount. This depends very much on your unity, Radev continued and added that Bulgaria is in the process of formulating a new policy.
Bulgarian citizens are EU citizens, so their discrimination is discrimination against Europeans, Rumen Radev was adamant.
He noted that the common task is to stop the de-Bulgarianization in the RNM and to preserve the historical and cultural heritage. The violation of these rights is the reason for us to postpone the start of RNM negotiations with the EU, regardless of the price we pay. Bulgaria will follow this path unwaveringly, Radev was categorical.
For his part, the leader of the Civil Democratic Union in RN Macedonia, Petar Kolev, stressed that Bulgaria’s position is clear and concrete. The process of de-Bulgarianization is a revival process. Bulgaria’s position is a ray of hope, he said, also recalling the October 12 call.
We most strongly want the European future of RN Macedonia, but this cannot happen at the expense of Bulgaria and the Bulgarians living in the country. The patience of the Bulgarians in RSM has been exhausted. We want small things – respect for our rights. This should be expressed in the Constitution of RNM, Kolev was categorical.
There is no example of an integrated Bulgarian in RNM, we want to integrate. We expect a fair census in the country, Kolev added and pointed out that 120 thousand people in RNM are of proven Bulgarian origin.