Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has underlined Sofia’s strong rejection of Macedonian anti-Bulgarian rhetoric and manipulations of history, speaking out on the subject in a meeting on October 31 2012 with European Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle.
As pledged earlier, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov raised the same issues in his meetings on October 31 with Füle, who was in the Bulgarian capital for meetings with top state leaders.
Plevneliev said that Bulgaria was not blocking Macedonia’s EU ambitions but also could not give unconditional support unless Skopje dropped its anti-Bulgarian statements and manipulation of historical facts.
Bulgaria was highly tolerant and patient and prepared to continue to work for the European perspectives of its neighbours, Plevneliev said.
He said that it was strategic importance for the long-term stability of the Balkans that Skopje starts applying European practices, meaning that there should not provocations or manipulations.
“Authorities inSkopje can unlock their EU membership perspectives not through propaganda and marketing campaigns but thanks to real reforms and acts of good neighbourly behaviour. We cannot give an EU certificate to the actions of government in Skopje, which is constantly using and applying the ideology of hatred towards Bulgaria,” Plevneliev said.
Füle said that everyone was aware that Macedonia had spent a long time waiting at the door of the EU and Nato. He said that integration was the best way to deal with nationalism and isolation stoked nationalism.
Foreign Minister Mladenov said that Bulgaria’s concerns about the nationalistic policy being conducted in Skopje had been shared with Füle.
“We agreed that European integration is the only way to solve the issues related to nationalistic rhetoric,” Mladenov said.
“Bulgaria has never and will never make any territorial claims at any other country in the region. Bulgaria has always maintained relations of active co-operation with our neighbours,” Mladenov said.
(Photo: V Nikolov/president.bg)