site.btaJosep Borrell Condemns Attack on Hristian Pendikov, Expects Culprits to Be Brought to Justice
"We condemn the attack in Ohrid the same way the authorities in Skopje did," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell said here on Tuesday, who received North Macedonia's Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani in his capacity as a Chairman-in-Office of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe.
"I am reassured […] that those responsible [for the attack against Hristian Pendikov] will be brought to justice. At the same time, we hear unacceptable statements made by some nationalist politicians, inciting hatred and implying violence. This can only further escalate tensions and is not conductive to an atmosphere facilitating goodneighbourliness and good relations," Josep Borrell said.
He said he is happy to see the process of North Macedonia's EU accession move forward, which is why he is concerned when unnecessary difficulties appear. "Recently we have seen an escalation of tensions between North Macedonia and Bulgaria with [unacceptable] incidents and provocations," Borrell said. "I strongly condemn any incitement of violence. Working together to promote an atmosphere of dialogue and mutual respect is crucial, because this is the European way and this is the basis on which the European Union is built," the EU Commissioner said.
Hristian Pendikov was beaten up in Ohrid on January 19. His condition is improving but he remains in hospital in Sofia, said the Military Medical Academy Tuesday.
The man is a citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia of Bulgarian ethnicity and is secretary of a Bulgarian culture club in Ohrid. After the January 19 attack, he was flown to Sofia for medical treatment. He underwent jaw surgery at the Military Medical Academy and was discharged from intensive care several days ago to be moved to a regular ward.
The incident has increased tensions between the two countries in view of North Macedonia's aspirations to join the EU.