Zaev: Bulgaria says Macedonian language and Macedonian people, but they do not officially recognize it


I think that chances of lifting the blockade will increase by 50 percent after the elections. We have elections in both Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Politicians are very specific, but we continue the talks, we have topics on both sides and there is a solution, said Prime Minister ZoranZaev addressing the official opening of second Western Balkans Summit entitled “Promoting Europe’s inclusiveness and solidarity” which is taking place in Skopje on Thursday, organized by ‘The Economist’.

The solution between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, Zaev noted, will be a strong message of encouragement for the entire Western Balkans, because everything that happens in Montenegro, Kosovo or anywhere, has an impact on everyone else.

“I believe there is a solution and I have experience in finding many solutions in the past four years. I personally believe that reaching solution is possible by the end of this year,” Zaev said.

Answering a question from Joan Hoey, Regional Director for Europe at the Economist Intelligence Unit, about the issue of the Bulgarian veto and whether he has received assurances from the EU that the language and history will not be in any negotiation framework, are not be still the subject of talks, PM Zaev said that on this issue the EU reaffirmed the importance and values that even open issues are bilateral issues between our country and Bulgaria, and bearing in mind our identity and language and the EU stand on that question is very clear and precise.

“Everyone has the right to self-identification and that is very good. I recently saw very positive signals from Bulgaria. They understand that when we talk to each other, even together at press conferences they say Macedonian language and Macedonian people, but they do not officially recognize it and I hope we will solve that very soon,” Zaev said.

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