Rama: I hope they wouldn’t demand that you call yourselves Western Bulgaria, because in that case you would have to negotiate with Greece again

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We will have to wait again and we’ll continue doing so and also relying on each other rather than on only what Brussels is saying, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama told Wednesday’s panel at the First Skopje Economic Forum alongside Prime Minister Zoran Zaev commenting EU’s failure to deliver opening of negotiations with Skopje and Tirana.

We, he said, have to rely on each other, on our own energy to do our best in order to merge the missions into a single one, the nations into one nation, and the countries in one zone where there’s no limitations to cooperation.

Rama, who at one point called Zaev ‘brother’, stressed the importance of regional cooperation for the region to prosper.

“We’re too small to live isolated from one another, too small to be looking for the future of our children on our own, but we can do it together. Only together our economies can become attractive and we need to make it attractive enough for everyone for companies to invest,” PM Rama said.

According to him, after the settlement of the dispute with Greece and the signing of the Prespa Agreement, everyone has the right to feel frustrated with the blockade, which this time is coming from Bulgaria.

“Everyone has the right to feel frustrated because all of a sudden, there’s Bulgaria demanding something more. I told Zoran that I hope they wouldn’t demand that you call yourselves Western Bulgaria, because in that case you would have to sit again with Greece to negotiate,” Rama said jokingly.

No decision being reached for the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania is EU’s failure, Rama stressed.

“We’re not the ones who didn’t succeed, it is them who didn’t succeed. They have their own reasons, and I understand that – it is their home and we want to come in. They’ve kept saying you are still not ready, which is not true. They could have simply said you’ve done your job, but we are not ready,” said Albanian PM Rama.

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