Macedonia PM Denies Territorial Claims towards BulgaraDiplomacy | October 30, 2009, Friday // 19:30| views
Statements in Australia of Macedonian PM Gruevski (right) pictured here with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (L) on 26 October 2009 led Bulgarian leaders to say Macedonia had territorial claims towards Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Macedonian Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, has stated that his country had no territorial claims towards Bulgaria or any other state.
Gruevski’s denial comes in response to Thursday’s statements of Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov who interpreted words Gruevski said before Macedonian immigrants in Australia as territorial claims towards Bulgaria.
Gruevski’s words were that the Macedonians in Australia had a unique opportunity that they did not have in the Republic of Macedonia: to live with their compatriots from Aegean and Pirin Macedonia. (The Pirin region of the geographic area “Macedonia” is in Southwest Bulgaria, and the Aegean part is in Greece.)
Gruevksi has also called upon the Macedonians in Australia not to split because “there are no Vardar Macedonians (i.e. the region of today’s Republic of Macedonia), no Aegean Macedonians, no Pirin Macedonians, there are only Macedonians”
“Not only does my statement contain any territorial claims but it also has a unifying and pro-European spirit,” Macedonia’s PM said Friday in an interview for the MIA agency which is also posted on the website of the Macedonian government.
“My words have been taken out of context. With respect to the situation of the Macedonian community in Australia I called upon the Macedonians there to have better understand instead of divisions – such as the division based on the church issues – for and against the administrator of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, or based on origin. I said that they live in one state, and added that one day all of us in the Balkans are going to live together within Europe,” Gruevski is quoted as saying.
“The Macedonian question must not be used for quarrels but for peace and unity. I am sorry if someone understood me incorrectly, or my words were referred to them in the wrong way. I am consistent in my statements at home, and abroad,” Gruevski states.
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