Dimitrov: Prespa Agreement was possible because it did not touch identity, Sofia goes into something it has no right to

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The Prespa Agreement was possible because the Macedonian identity was not touched. Some of the issues raised by Sofia go into something that Sofia has no right to – the Macedonian identity, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov said in an interview with MIA.

“The countries in the 21st century base their relations on principles, international law and European values. Countries recognize other countries and governments, but they don’t recognize identities or languages. It is every nation’s right to self-determination. It was the same before, but especially now, in Europe, in the 21st century. When Bulgaria recognized the independence of the then-Republic of Macedonia, it recognized our sovereign right to being who we are, Macedonians speaking Macedonian language,” Dimitrov stressed.

He reminded that since the Lisbon Treaty, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Union has had myriad documents upholding the right to self-determination, which he says is entirely our own business.

“The issues, differences raised by Bulgaria lack any legal basis. We are neighbors, we are strongly interested in good relations. However, good relations cannot be built when challenged with something that is entirely our own business. I see solution to these issues only in accordance with international law, international agreements, respect, etc. The preamble of the Friendship Treaty signed with Bulgaria, among other things, reads that the two countries will build close and friendly relations based on mutual respect. This mutual respect involves respect of our sovereign right to be who we are, Macedonians speaking Macedonian language,” Dimitrov underlined.

He reiterated that the Prespa Agreement closed an issue that had been an obligation from the UN Security Council since 1993. Under the agreement, which was made possible only because Greece had accepted our right to self-determination, we protected the Macedonian identity. Otherwise, the Prespa Agreement wouldn’t have been possible.

 

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