Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has congratulated social democrat leader Dimitar Kovachevski on being elected to head the new coalition government in the Republic of North Macedonia.
Petkov’s congratulations, in a post on the Bulgarian government’s Facebook page, came on the eve of his official visit to Skopje scheduled for January 18, and a day after North Macedonia’s parliament elected Kovachevski’s government into office in a 62 to 46 vote.
Petkov, who took office in mid-December and who has pledged a new beginning in Bulgaria’s relations with North Macedonia, said: “I expect to work together for a new constructive dialogue and understanding in the interest of our bilateral relations, the development of which is of great benefit to the citizens of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia”.
He said that Bulgaria’s position on the EU prospects of North Macedonia was consistent and clear.
Good-neighbourliness could bring serious positives not only for the two countries, but also for the entire region, Petkov said.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska, in a message on Twitter, congratulated her North Macedonian counterpart Bujar Osmani on his reappointment.
“Looking forward to future co-operation in further strengthening good-neighbourly relations in the spirit of our Treaty and for the benefit of the common European future of the citizens of Bulgaria and North Macedonia,” said Genchovska, who will be among Petkov’s delegation on his visit to Skopje.
Speaking on January 16, Kovachevski noted that he would on Tuesday be hosting Petkov “with whom we want to establish a new co-operation, based on respect, support and preservation of the Macedonian identity and uniqueness”.
Relations between Bulgaria and North Macedonia have been troubled in recent years, leading Bulgaria to block the former Yugoslav republic’s to EU membership. Petkov’s coalition government has adopted an approach accentuating the advantages of bilateral co-operation, including through the establishment of joint working groups in key policy areas such as the economy, transport and infrastructure.
(Photo of Kovachevski: sdsm.org.mk)
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