PM Zaev Responds to Reactions in Bulgaria about Comments on Ilinden Uprising

“The friendship and cooperation between Macedonia and Bulgaria are honest,” PM Zoran Zaev writes on Facebook in response to the debate in the neighbouring country, following his comments that the Ilinden Uprising is Macedonian. According to him, both citizens and criticisers in the two countries should have no dilemmas regarding the positive development of the relations between the two sides after the reached agreement on friendship. “We have for over a year celebrated joint parts of the history between the two peoples. We have marked historic events several times,” Zaev points out. In his view, there should be no going back. “That is an obligation before our children. We politicians are perhaps not careful enough sometimes. We sometimes make mistakes, too, but I assure you that it is just inattention because we honestly want friendship and cooperation like in the agreement,” the PM stresses. Zaev’s stands follow Bulgarian Socialist Party Korneliya Ninova’s urging of Boyko Borissov to comment on Zaev’s statement about the Uprising being Macedonian. According to the Bulgarian PM, regardless of whether his Macedonian counterpart said that intentionally or unintentionally, that’s on him because when it comes to the EU, “we, too, have to give consent and we will in those moments remember those things”. Borissov also advised Zaev to be more careful. As it was said in Sofia, the two countries’ joint future is very important, but the historical facts are something else and mustn’t be ignored and disregarded. On the other hand, Zaev points out that the past will be jointly celebrated and honoured. “On the foundations of that past, we will continue to build our joint future,” the PM notes. According to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, PM Zoran Zaev’s Facebook post after the comments on the Ilinden Uprising is not an apology, as the Bulgarian media claim.

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