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Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: We hope for EU membership talks with Macedonia as of this year and a recommendation for Albania, next chance is 2020

Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: We hope for EU membership talks with Macedonia as of this year and a recommendation for Albania, next chance is 2020

18 June 2018 | 13:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. We hope for a decision this year to start negotiations on Macedonia’s EU membership, as well as for a recommendation for Albania, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva told the plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union, Focus News Agency reports. She said that in view of the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament, the next real chance would be 2020. “June 25 to 30 will be a critical, extremely important week. On June 26, there will be a General Affairs Council that will examine the report on enlargement,” Ekaterina Zaharieva said, and called for support for the European aspirations of the people in the two countries. “June 26 is a very important date for the stability and security of the whole EU,” the foreign minister said. “Two new chapters are to be opened for Serbia and one for Montenegro,” she added. “Our presidency will be remembered for the words future, chance, European perspective and connectivity in the Balkans,” she said, adding that Bulgaria managed to put the European perspective of the Western Balkans high on the EU agenda.
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Mihail Konstantinov, analyst: Deal on Macedonia’s name is strongly opposed both in Athens and Skopje, tough procedures lie ahead

Mihail Konstantinov, analyst: Deal on Macedonia’s name is strongly opposed both in Athens and Skopje, tough procedures lie ahead

18 June 2018 | 11:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The opposition against an accord on the name of Macedonia is very strong both in Athens and Skopje, difficult procedures lie ahead, political analyst Prof. Mihail Konstantinov told Focus Radio. “The issue is far from over. What happened yesterday and should be welcomed by Bulgaria was only the first step. Macedonia is still to make difficult steps. The first one is the approval of the accord in parliament, and I suppose it will happen because the ruling have majority. But then comes a referendum, and the Macedonians are divided. In fact, they are mostly against [the agreement]. As far as we understand, the Albanian community will support it. The clashes are upsetting but have not reached their final stage, things are still under control,” he explained. He added that Macedonians sacrificed much more for the agreement, while the only compromise on Greece's part was the acceptance of the term Macedonia into the neighbour’s name.
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Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Zaharieva: Relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia have never been better in 20 years

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Zaharieva: Relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia have never been better in 20 years

18 June 2018 | 09:47 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia have never been better in 20 years, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva told Nova TV.
Bulgaria needs stable neighbours, stable Republic of Macedonia on the road to EU accession negotiations. “We support the Macedonian government’s actions and its aspirations to improve relations with its neighbours. Relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia have never been better in 20 years,” Zaharieva said. “The Bulgarian government supports the actions of Prime Minister Zaev. We want that the Balkans leave the past in the past at last and reconcile. On 26 June there is NATO’s General Affairs Council, and if an agreement is reached, Macedonia will start membership talks. If they implement the reforms, EU membership will no longer be a mirage,” Minister Zaharieva said.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, joint press conference. July 17, 2018;
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, joint press conference. July 17, 2018;

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Rescue unit of Sofia Municipality came to help a squirrel at risk;
Rescue unit of Sofia Municipality came to help a squirrel at risk;
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