Bulgaria Hails Name Change Vote in Macedonian Parliament

ESD 17:08:01 20-10-2018


Bulgaria Hails Name Change Vote in

Sofia, October 20 (BTA) - Bulgaria hailed Friday's decision of the Macedonian Parliament that paved the way to renaming the country North Macedonia. Statements to that effect were issued by the Foreign Ministry in Sofia and the President's Office.

Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva was quoted by her department as saying that the decision will kick-start the process of Macedonia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Zaharieva said: "We believe that this is the best and only responsible decision which gives a chance of prosperity to all citizens in the region. We congratulate every MP who voted in favour of our shared future in NATO and the EU."

She said in conclusion that Bulgaria remains Macedonia's closest and most sincere friend in that process.

President Rumen Radev said in a statement that the Macedonian Parliament vote was an important step forward in a long historical process for the country. "It should lead to even greater closeness between our two countries based on the principles of friendship, good-neighbourliness and cooperation," Radev said.

He further noted: "The prospects of developing our bilateral relations and clearing them of the ideological residue from the recent past are essential for reaffirming the support of the Republic of Bulgaria for the integration of the Republic of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO. I welcome all acts of political courage, leadership and responsible statesmanship which foster closeness between our two countries." LN/VE