Macedonia and Bulgaria Have Different Pasts,
But They Have the Same Views for the Future

April 21, 2003


Relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia can be an example for other countries in the process of Euro-integration", stated Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski yesterday at the end of the three-day visit of Bulgarian Prime Minister, Simeon Saksoburgotski to Macedonia. The Bulgarian Prime Minister, for his part, evaluated the visit to Macedonia as very useful and interesting and considered that bilateral relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria are excellent.

At the mutual press conference, the Bulgarian Prime Minister emphasized the possibility of both countries mutually celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ilinden uprising. In respect of the attempt of the integration of Macedonian organizations in Bulgaria, Saksoburgotski stated that "on the way towards Europe and the 21st century we should look ahead and we should find the points that unite us." "It is a fact that we have different stances towards certain parts of history, but it is a bigger fact that we have close views towards the future", replied Crvenkovski to Saksoburgotski's statements.

Both Prime Ministers pledged the removal of administrative barriers in aid of greater economic cooperation, cooperation in the fight against organized crime and in the Corridor 8 project. Similar pledges were also expressed on the meeting between Saksoburgotski and President Trajkovski and Bulgaria offered assistance to Macedonia on its way towards European integration.

As radio Deutsche Welle reports, Bulgarian Prime Minister in Skopje also had a meeting with leaders of DUI, DPA and VMRO DPMNE, Ali Ahmeti, Arben Dxaferi and Ljubco Georgievski, as well as with the former president of the country, Kiro Gligorov. The mutual conclusion of the meeting with Ahmeti was that implementation of the Framework Agreement is a difficult and long process, but that it is a basic precondition for further development of the country. The leader of the DPA, Dxaferi, pointed to Saksoburgotski that in Macedonia there is no vision on three issues: the economic transformation of the country, interethnic relations and the identity or name of the country, because of which Macedonia is in a permanent crisis. Georgievski, in the discussion with Saksobrugotski, stated that VMRO DPMNE, as opposition, will continue to work on development of Bulgarian-Macedonian relations. Representatives of Bulgaria and Macedonia signed an agreement for opening of a Cultural Centre of Macedonia in Sofia and opening of Bulgarian Cultural and Information Centre in Skopje.

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