Bulgaria recalls ambassador to N Macedonia from Skopje

Bulgaria summoned its ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia, Angel Angelov, for consultations in Sofia, the Foreign Ministry said on January 23.

The reason for Angelov to return temporarily to Bulgaria’s capital city was the serious situation regarding the rights of Bulgarians in North Macedonia and the escalation of acts and hate crimes against them in recent months, the ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry listed these as the arson attack on the Ivan Mihailov Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bitola in early June 2022, three consecutive attacks on the King Boris III Bulgarian culture club in Ohrid, including a shooting on November 24 2022, the aggressive anti-Bulgarian social media campaign in North Macedonia, the brutal attack of January 19 2023, on Hristian Pendikov, secretary of the King Boris III club, and the adoption in November 2022 of the discriminatory Associations and Foundations Act in the Republic of North Macedonia.

The purpose of the consultations is to discuss the possibilities of stopping the dangerous trend of increasing pressure on the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia who identify as Bulgarians and the prospects for further development of bilateral relations, the statement said.

A special sitting of Bulgaria’s National Assembly on January 24 is to include a hearing of caretaker Foreign Minister Nikolai Milkov in connection with the latest case of physical assault on Bulgarians and Bulgarian citizens in the Republic of North Macedonia, Bulgarian National Television reported.

(Photo: Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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