Zaev: Radev Does Not Understand Message from Macron and Merkel

Without any expression of satisfaction or triumph, Macedonian Prime Minister Zaev and Bulgarian President Radev left the meeting with the Merkel-Macron duo in Slovenia. Apart from the gestures of the French president, the communication between Zaev and Radev also attracted attention, from which serious attitudes are easily read. There is no progress in the talks. “The messages from Macron and Merkel are clear. For a solution, you need to look ahead to the future, not dig into the past. But, unfortunately, I am not sure that Radev understood that message. The steps and blockades taken by Radev on behalf of Bulgaria are an insult to the Macedonian citizens. My people have given me a mandate to create solutions, not to justify policies from the last century,” said Zaev. Radev said shortly after the meeting that it was time for a historic compromise. He revealed that a six-point joint protocol is being prepared and is expected to be adopted by early November. It contains several short-term solutions, which need to be met before North Macedonia starts negotiations, and long-term ones to be implemented during the negotiation process and to be part of the negotiating framework. “The reality and essence of the problem with our neighbor is the systematic debugging. As the historical truth in the relations with Greece was recognized, so should the historical truth in the relations with Bulgaria be recognized,” said Radev. For the first time, he publicly demanded the opening of the North Macedonian constitution and the inclusion of the Bulgarian minority in it. “The North Macedonian Bulgarians to be equated with the other seven communities, which are explicitly named in the North Macedonian Constitution. North Macedonian Bulgarians to be adequately represented as a nation and number in the census process. More than 120 thousand Bulgarian citizens from North Macedonia are registered in our registers,” says Radev. “We do not have a problem with that issue, but we expect the next opening of the Constitution before full membership. We need a promise that we will get “yes” and hold the first intergovernmental conference,” says Zaev. Regarding Zaev, he assures that the Macedonian language and identity are not covered by the six-point protocol mentioned by Radev.