Scholz in Sofia: I strongly Support the Start of Negotiations with North Macedonia for EU Accession

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in Sofia that he strongly supports an agreement to start EU accession talks between the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania.

"Germany understands that it is not easy to overcome historical differences between neighboring countries but our experience shows that it is enriching for all when it comes to overcoming mistrust and building friendly relations with neighbors. I therefore strongly support an agreement to start negotiations. I believe that there is a chance for progress. We will continue the discussion and exchange between us until the end of the French Presidency and I hope we will make progress. I am convinced that together we as Europeans, we are responsible for the EU and for the stability of the Balkans. It is important that we use the enlargement process now, for the benefit of Europe." said Scholz.

"The Western Balkans must have a secure European perspective", Scholz said, adding that he supports North Macedonia meeting the conditions. The German chancellor came to Sofia from Skopje, where he was visiting this morning.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said Bulgaria and Germany have always looked to the Western Balkans for EU accession but expects the conditions to be met.

"At the moment, Bulgaria has three main priorities, for which the EU must be part of the guarantee in order to have steps forward - through the European process to ensure the inclusion of Bulgarians in the Constitution of North Macedonia. At the same time we have a framework position and the Good Neighbour Agreement. So any solution must include these three priorities. The EU can give potential opportunities to have European guarantees that this is happening, so we continue to work...

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