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Bulgarian Vice President Iotova: Our position won’t change despite pressure

Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev will represent Bulgaria at the European Union-Western Balkans summit on Oct. 6 in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, said the Presidential Press Secretariat.

Sofia, 5 October 2021 (BTA/MIA) — Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev will represent Bulgaria at the European Union-Western Balkans summit on Oct. 6 in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, said the Presidential Press Secretariat.

President Radev was invited by EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to a joint meeting with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, and also by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to a joint meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Zaev.

The first plenary session of the EU-Western Balkans summit will be dedicated to the economic recovery of the region, to be followed by a second session and a press conference.

Asked by reporters about this country’s position for the summit and especially the EU membership prospects of North Macedonia, Vice President Iliana Iotova said Bulgaria will reconfirm that the most important thing is to make sure the rights of people with Bulgarian self-awareness are respected in North Macedonia, including their rights in education and work. It will also say that the results of the ongoing census in North Macedonia will be very important.

Bulgaria’s Vice President expects President Redev to come under “much pressure by almost all European partners” over Bulgaria’s opposition to give a green light to Skopje’s start of accession talks with the EU “due to its reluctance to address some sticking points in bilateral relations, including the rights of people in North Macedonia who identify themselves as Bulgarians, and the distortion of historical facts.”

“The President will go to the meeting and I am sure that our position won’t change despite the pressure,” Iotova said.

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