After the Government announced that the harmonization of the joint action plan with Bulgaria is in the final stage, the US Ambassador to the country, yesterday Kate Byrnes referred to the dispute between Macedonia and Bulgaria, reiterating that the US is committed to resolving bilateral issues between countries and staying away from the process of EU integration.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, and the Government Spokesperson, Dusko Arsovski, also informed that the preparation of the joint action plan is near completion. The position of the Government is that from the Macedonian side there are no changes in the positions in the negotiations with Bulgaria – the Macedonian identity, people and language are non-negotiable.

The action plan is near completion, which will be an important document to follow the line cooperation in all areas and I expect through dedicated work and patiently to restore confidence in the political dialogue, said Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani at a joint press conference with the MEP and rapporteur of the European Parliament for Macedonia, Ilhan Kyuchyuk.

The US Ambassador stressed in yesterday’s interview with TV Kanal 5 that regarding Macedonia’s EU integration, the United States is disappointed that Bulgaria has decided to block the start of negotiations, but noted that they see as a positive sign that Macedonia and Bulgaria continue to advocate that bilateral issues remain apart from their discussions in order to make progress in that regard.

Byrnes stressed that the solution to bilateral issues will be reached through bilateral dialogue.

The United States will continue to stay engaged and support Macedonia in starting its EU talks and will continue to advocate that bilateral issues remain apart from that discussion, she said.

She assessed that the Bulgarian veto is causing damage on several levels, among other things, it caused public doubt in the credibility of the EU and its commitment to enlargement.

MEP and EP Rapporteur for Macedonia, Ilhan Kyuchyuk sees great opportunities for the enhancement of Macedonian-Bulgarian relations who yesterday in an interview TV 24 said that is why restoration of confidence between the two countries and finding a common language for all open issues is needed.

The blockade, he stressed yesterday, does not help the EU or both countries in any way.

We as politicians are obliged to put the Bulgarian-Macedonian relations and regional and European issues on a much better perspective, said Kyuchyuk, adding that it is necessary to restore confidence in the Good Neighborliness Agreement.