New Bulgarian – Macedonian meeting planned, Sofia says

A meeting between the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Macedonia will be held within days, according to Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin.

His statement, on July 23, came against a background of continuing efforts towards the signing of a “good neighbourliness agreement” between the two countries, efforts that have been continuing for many months and which Sofia sees as an essential step towards Macedonia’s European integration.

Relations between the two countries repeatedly have been vexed over issues such as historical legacy and identity.

The good neighbourliness agreement is an attempt to resolve this, with important principles including shared commemorations of events in the two countries’ common historical legacies.

When the former centre-right government of Bulgaria stepped down in February 2013, then-Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov expressed frustration because it came as work on the good neighbourliness agreement had been nearing finalisation.

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