Macedonian Foreign Minister: Negotiations with Bulgaria Ended with 3:1 for North Macedonia

Southeast Europe | September 16, 2022, Friday // 09:38|  views


The result from the negotiations with Bulgaria ended with 3 to 1 for us. We kept the language, started EU membership negotiations and left historical issues off the road map. Bulgaria received a change to the Constitution somewhere in the middle of the process - after the start of the negotiations. For that reason, I think it was a good compromise.”

Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani said this and added: “There is a consensus in society that constitutional changes do not cause harm”. To the question of why he is against the referendum requested by the opposition of VMRO-DPMNE on the Treaty with Bulgaria, Osmani answered: “In essence, no one is against the changes in the Constitution. Even in VMRO-DPMNE there are people who believe that this is in the interest of the Macedonian people and the state. This also means an institutional definition of the relations between the majority Macedonian people and the Bulgarian minority. For the first time, this attitude is defined in the highest state document, and this is done at the request of Bulgaria. If we had asked for this thing, we would not have gotten it.”

"The issue of changing the Constitution shifted the identity debate from ‘who was what in the past’ to the ‘human rights’ debate. This is a big victory for us because we shifted the debate to minority rights and human rights," Osmani told local television. "Sitel".

According to him, with the agreement reached with Bulgaria, "North Macedonia has finished with its existential challenges".

"There cannot be a referendum on the Agreement with Bulgaria. This is an international agreement. The Ohrid Agreement, the Treaty with Bulgaria and the Prespa Agreement are the three pillars of Macedonia. There is no way they can be removed," said Bujar Osmani. He believes that "the problem with the interpretation of history is real".

We recall that at the beginning of September, VMRO-DPMNE requested that a referendum be held in the RNM to cancel the Treaty of Friendship between Bulgaria and the RNM, which was signed on August 1, 2017. Party leader Hristijan Mickoski called the Treaty a "poisonous tree".

Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi rejected the request and called it unconstitutional.

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Tags: osmani, north macedonia, Bulgaria, EU


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