Bulgarian PM: Relations with Macedonia are Thawing

Diplomacy | February 12, 2013, Tuesday // 15:04|  views

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has revealed he has had a phone call with Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski over the straightening of problematic relations between the two countries.

"Late yesterday I talked to PM Gruevski and there is a great progress in negotiations on the agreement for good neighborly relations," said Borisov after meeting Croatian PM Zoran Milanovic in Sofia and Tuesday.

In light of Croatia's coming July 1 accession to the EU, Borisov underscored Bulgaria's commitment to EU membership for all countries in the Western Balkans, especially Macedonia and Serbia.

A so-called agreement for good neighborly relations, or friendship treaty, was proposed by Bulgaria to Macedonia at the end of 2012, soon after Bulgaria joined Greece in blocking the EU giving Macedonia a start date for accession negotiations.

The Bulgarian government had objected to what they see as discriminatory attitudes towards ethnic Bulgarians in Macedonia, and ongoing strife about cultural and historical heritage.

Authorities in Macedonia are being accused of creating an hostile nationalistic atmosphere in the country, in part by claiming historic heritage of neighboring nations, such as Bulgaria, as its own.

The proposed friendship treaty between Bulgaria and Macedonia is supposed to be based on a declaration of neighborly relations signed by the two governments back in 1999.

Tuesday, Bulgaria's PM Borisov said he will meet PM Gruevski "in the very near future" to discuss the treaty and other matters of mutual interest.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Nikola Gruevski, greece, macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, EU, Zoran Milanovic, Serbia, Macedonian


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