North Macedonia’s Zaev ready to beg Sofia, won’t sacrifice identity, language

North Macedonia newly elected Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, 31 August 2020. [EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI]

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he is ready to beg for a solution in Sofia, but is not prepared to sacrifice the Macedonian identity and language, adding that if the dialogue with Bulgaria is successful, talks may be held as early as 23 June.

The PM expects an invitation from Bulgaria’s caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev and adherence to European manners. In his view, the Portuguese proposal is a good basis.

“What protects us in the dispute with Bulgaria are principles, not just ours, but above all else European principles. They are our strongest argument in this dispute”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani told TV 24. 

“We try to argue those principles before Bulgaria and our friends. Justice is just one of the principles, but there are many principles that have protected the European idea for the last 75 years,” said the foreign minister.

“In all the waves of EU enlargement, there have been attempts to impose bilateral issues, to slow down the process, but the bloc has always emerged stronger over those obstacles and has always succeeded. It did it based on respect for the principles”, Osmani added. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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