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Sofia’s rhetoric toward Skopje calmer now, Pendarovski says

Over the past few months, the rhetoric coming from Sofia towards Skopje has calmed down; Bulgarians are going to the polls tomorrow and I am glad the "topic of Macedonia" is no longer one of their priorities, President Stevo Pendarovski said in Sofia on Saturday.

Skopje, 1 October 2022 (MIA) — Over the past few months, the rhetoric coming from Sofia towards Skopje has calmed down; Bulgarians are going to the polls tomorrow and I am glad the “topic of Macedonia” is no longer one of their priorities, President Stevo Pendarovski said in Sofia on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Pendarovski said, this had not been the case in the previous two years, when “whether or not there were elections, some political parties and politicians used it to score political points.”

The President said he was visiting Bulgaria for the first time in the four years of his term. He said he accepted the invitation of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to discuss the energy crisis together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

He would not have accepted the invitation if the topic of the meeting had been related to historical issues, he said.

“I can notice that in the past few months, the rhetoric coming from Sofia towards Skopje has been quite calm in this sense,” Pendarovski said.

“My several conversations with President Radev, although not directly on political topics, have given me the same impression. Which is what I actually said to President Radev in the first minutes of our conversation.

“I told him: ‘President, if you had called me to come to Sofia to talk about Tsar Samuil, I would never have come. I came because you invited me to discuss a 21st century topic, and not 10th, 15th or 19th century ones’,” Pendarovski said. mr/

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