President Radev: North Macedonia Should Respect the Rights of Bulgarians Living There
Bulgaria expects the Republic of North Macedonia to fulfill the criteria for membership in the European Union, including by respecting the rights of people with Bulgarian identity.
President Rumen Radev, Vice President Iliana Yotova, historians, public figures and experts united around this position in a special discussion on Bulgaria's relations with North Macedonia, held on March 26.
Experts believe that hate speech against Bulgaria, stigmatization against people with Bulgarian identity, as well as the falsification of historical sources and literary works should stop.
Only in this way will Skopje be able to fulfil the criteria for EU membership and fulfil the 2017 Friendship Treaty with Sofia.
"The most important factor is upholding the rights of Macedonian Bulgarians, because this is the vital problem of our time - those Macedonian Bulgarians who have managed to preserve their identity, despite decades of repression during totalitarianism," said President Rumen Radev.
According to him, solving this problem will invalidate the anti-Bulgarian ideology.
"It will accelerate the process of democratization in our neighbouring country and help it achieve the Copenhagen criteria faster, without which, we all know, the door to the EU will be difficult to open," said President Rumen Radev./bnt