Bulgarian veto on Skopje, US also takes on negotiating role
The United States is ready to play a constructive role in facilitating a compromise between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, which would pave the way for the formal launch of membership talks between Brussels and Skopje, and consequently with Albania, which has remained hostage to this impasse.
A State Department spokesman said: "Given the importance of this process to countries in the region and to Europe at large, we hope that diplomatic efforts will continue and that we will continue to offer our support where it is useful." .
France, which holds the rotating EU presidency for a few days, offered a compromise proposal between Sofia and Skopje.
Last Friday, the Bulgarian parliament approved the "French proposal", allowing the government to lift its veto on advancing Skopje's European integration process.
The French proposal envisages, among other things, the inclusion in the constitution of the rights of Bulgarian citizens in Northern Macedonia, or its non-recognition of the Macedonian language.
From Brussels, Prime Minister Kovacevsky said on Friday that "the French proposal, in its current form, is unacceptable to me, the President, the government, the coalition partners and the citizens of northern Macedonia."
He added that “a proposal that should be acceptable should guarantee key elements: a clear wording for the Macedonian language in the negotiating framework and a clear protection of the Macedonian identity. "Historical issues cannot be a criterion in the negotiating framework."
According to him, "talks between the EU and Northern Macedonia should begin before the opening of the procedure for constitutional changes and the inclusion of Bulgarians, Croats and Montenegrins in the Preamble of the Constitution" seeking "strong guarantees from both Bulgaria and the EU. "Bulgaria will not make new demands conditional on what will be reached as an agreement in the negotiating framework and the bilateral protocol that has not yet been reached with Bulgaria."
Sofia and Skopje are continuing talks on bilateral protocol. It is learned that Northern Macedonia presented a new proposal yesterday. Even today, Prime Minister Kovacevski told reporters in Skopje that "talks with neighboring Bulgaria continue at the level of expert teams of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.
Once there is a proposal acceptable to both parties, then that proposal can be discussed in the institutions of Northern Macedonia. "At this point, there is no such proposal," Kovacevski said.
Ngërçi mes Bullgarisë dhe Maqedonisë së Veriut, bëri të pamundur edhe të premten e kaluar një vendimmarrje të krerëve të shteteve të Bashkimit europian për nisjen zyrtare të bisedimeve për anëtarësim, mes Brukselit dhe dy vendeve ballkanike. Shtetet e Bashkuara nga ana e tyre, në mënyrë të përsëritur, kanë nxitur Brukselin për të ecur më tej në marrëdhëniet me Tiranën dhe Shkupin.
Në komentet e tij për Zërin e Amerikës, zëdhënësi i Departamentit të Shtetit, nënvizoi se “SHBA-të janë mbështetës të fortë të integrimit të Maqedonisë së Veriut dhe Shqipërisë në BE. Ne besojmë se e ardhmja e Ballkanit Perëndimor është pikërisht në BE.
"The enlargement process promotes long-term peace, stability and prosperity throughout the region," the spokesman said, adding that "we take into account many statements by EU leaders on the importance of northern Macedonia and Albania's EU membership to strengthen security." of Europe, as well as our collective security. "Northern Macedonia and Albania have laid the foundations and now is the time to take them forward to the next stage of the membership process," said the State Department spokesman. / VOA