The joint committee of historians between Macedonia and Bulgaria will meet online today and tomorrow, to discuss aligning the historic narratives of the two countries on the medieval period and the time of the early Ottoman conquest. This period is relatively less contentious, compared to the period of national emancipation and the Second World War, which are at the center of the on-going dispute between the two countries.
Bulgaria insisted that the committee intensifies its work after it reached an impasse when Bulgaria claimed legendary VMRO leader Goce Delcev as its own, and the Macedonian historians refused to budge. Angel Dimitrov, the Bulgarian historian and former Ambassador to Macedonia, blamed the Macedonian counterparts of blocking progress even after Macedonian politicians agreed to the Bulgarian positions.
Dragi Georgiev, the head of the Macedonian team, made a statement meant to appease Bulgaria – he said that during the Second World War it did occupy Macedonia, but should not be considered a fascist country at the time – merely a member of the fascist coalition. This dispute was put at the center by Zoran Zaev, who in an interview with the Bulgarian BGNES news agency said that Macedonians should not refer to Bulgaria during the war as a fascist power and insisted that its occupation of Macedonia was mere administration, and later, when Bulgarian switched sides in the war – even liberation.