“The issue of European integration of the Western Balkan countries is an important process for us, because it is an environment in which Bulgaria directly conducts its foreign policy,” Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Melkov told reporters in Sandanski. The Minister attended the opening of the 16th International Seminar of the Winter Diplomacy School organized by the Institute of Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign diplomats from the European Union, Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region.
“We have a principled position that favors and supports the integration of the Western Balkan countries, and this should be done as soon as possible, but also based on the criteria set and on the principles and mechanisms that the European Union itself has developed and adopted in this regard,” Melkov noted.
According to the Minister’s statement, in this context, it should be emphasized that Bulgaria protects the rights of citizens of these countries and those who have Bulgarian consciousness and feel that they are Bulgarian.
“These do not contradict our goal of the rapid integration of the countries of the Western Balkans, on the contrary, respect for human rights, respect for the right to organize, combat hate speech and hate crimes, and the criteria for membership of these countries in the European Union, and this is something that the Union itself accepts.
Regarding the Republic of North Macedonia, Melkov said that our country has a clear position based on the decisions of the European Union regarding our neighboring country, and that it is based on what is supposedly known as “the proposal of France or the European Union.” He noted that this proposal was accepted by all EU member states, as well as by the parliamentarians of Bulgaria and Skopje. “When they meet these conditions, the path to membership is open,” Milkoff said.
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