North Macedonia, Turkey part of 'United Europe' project
North Macedonia and Turkey are part of the "United Europe" project, the North Macedonian president has said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the three-day Antalya Diplomacy Forum which closed on Sunday, Stevo Pendarovski said: "Unfortunately, our common European stories are not so successful and good to hear."
I would not blame anybody else, but ourselves, he said.
However, if you ask me, he added, the naked truth is that some of the blame is shared by "our European partners and Brussels."
Pendarovski noted that Turkey started full membership negotiations in 2005, but there has been no significant positive development so far. Similarly, he added, North Macedonia has been waiting for 16-and-a-half years.
"We are not waiting enter the EU, but to start the negotiations," he said.
We have a longstanding dispute with our neighbor Greece and another blockade by our eastern neighbor Bulgaria, he noted.
We can only hope that we start this process soon and in due time become a full member of the EU, Pendarovski stated.
"Because not only geographically, but civilizational, in economic terms, in cultural terms, in any other domain, we are, I mean North Macedonia and Turkey, certainly part of that project named 'United Europe'."
'More opportunities on horizon'
Pendarovski said Turkey has been the strongest supporter of North Macedonia's membership to NATO since the country became a candidate in 1999.
"After we made some hard decisions and heavy compromises with our neighbors, we are there. We are formally now, the Allies.
"Before that we had good cooperation, as I said, but now after being formal allies even more opportunities are on the horizon for...