Kovacevski, Petkov: Intergovernmental Conference with Great Success

PM of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovacevski and Bulgarian PM Kiril Petkov held a mutual press conference after the first intergovernmental conference between the governments of their respective countries took place on Tuesday morning in Sofia. Both Kovacevski and Petkov came out with a mutual conclusion that the conference has been rather successful, and voiced satisfaction with the formation of the five mixed working groups that will work on bringing the two countries closer together on several fields like economy, transport, culture, EU integrations and history. “These working groups will help us not only to overcome the bilateral disputes that currently block the accession of our country in the EU, but will also allow us to acquire numerous experiences from Bulgaria in many fields, since they have been an EU member-state for 15 years now, and there is a lot we can learn from their experience,” Kovacevski said. Bulgarian PM Petkov said that the conference was a great success, and said he is very happy with the pledges of both government to complete projects which are of great importance for the two countries, especially the construction of the Corridor VIII. Speaking of the Mixed Commission on Historical Affairs, Petkov said that Bulgaria at the moment has no intentions to make changes in its team on this commission, something which was proposed by Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani. PM Kovacevski answered questions about the registration of Bulgarians in the Constitution of North Macedonia, saying that it is a procedure requiring constitutional changes which by extension require many other initiatives and procedures by several institutions of the state and the Parliament, and may take some time. “Upon the accession in EU, one country must implement constitutional changes, and we believe that that would be the best moment to deal with the issues about registration of the Bulgarians living in North Macedonia,” Kovacevski said. At the conclusion of the conference, the governments of North Macedonia and Bulgaria also signed several memorandums for cooperation: Agriculture Ministers Ljupco Nikolovski and Ivan Ivanov signed a Memorandum for understanding and cooperation in the field of agriculture, forestry and rural development, Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi and Innovations and Development Minister Daniel Lorer signed a Memorandum for understanding and cooperation in the field of entrepreneurship, Transport Ministers Blagoj Bocvarski and Nikolay Sabev signed a Memorandum for development of railroad connection between Skopje and Sofia through the Corridor VIII, an Initiative for establishment of direct airline between Skopje and Sofia, a Memorandum for liberalisation of the transport of goods between the two countries and a Declaration for reduction of roaming service prices.