Sofia, 4 October 2021 (BTA/MIA) — In its dialogue with the Republic of North Macedonia, Bulgaria upholds not only its national interests, but above all, the European Union’s values, which are based on democracy and respect for human rights, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said during a telephone conversation with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Radev’s press secretariat reported here on Monday.
The conversation was held on the German President’s initiative on the eve of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which will be held in Slovenia on Oct. 5-6.
The whole region will benefit from the Republic of North Macedonia’s progress in its European integration process, Radev said, adding that Bulgaria expects concrete results regarding the observance of human rights in North Macedonia, which can accelerate this process.
Currently there is an ongoing population census in the Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria is receiving a number of alerts about pressure being exerted on people who openly express their Bulgarian identity, which is unacceptable for a country aspiring to become an EU member, President Radev said.
He also noted that the series of declarations and promises given throughout the years by the state leadership of the Republic of North Macedonia to Bulgaria remain unfulfilled, including the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation, signed in 2017.
That is why Bulgaria demands of North Macedonia legally binding guarantees in the bilateral dialogue, Radev’s press secretariat noted.