US ambassador: Disappointed EU can’t back North Macedonia negotiations

In the meantime, speaking in Brussels on the sidelines of the EU summit, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said his country is “open to constructive dialogue” but added that Bulgaria "will not allow our hands to be twisted by lobbying, media and political pressure”. [Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis]

US Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes said at the Skopje Economic Forum that “we do remain disappointed that the EU member states were unable to include approval (to start negotiations with North Macedonia) at the General Affairs meeting.” However, as she added, there is no doubt that the country has done the work necessary to launch talks.

In the meantime, speaking in Brussels on the sidelines of the EU summit, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said his country is “open to constructive dialogue” but added that Bulgaria “will not allow our hands to be twisted by lobbying, media and political pressure”.

“It is time for everyone to understand that the European perspective of our closest country will depend only on its engagement and on the results of its dialogue with Bulgaria,” Radev said.

“We cannot say ‘yes’ before we have seen sustainable mechanisms for eradicating the distorted narrative and the negative attitude towards Bulgaria from textbooks, museums, monuments, to the media and state policy. We cannot say ‘yes’ until we are convinced that our neighbour will not build its identity based on the theft of Bulgarian history,” Radev added.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr,)

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