After Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski and his Bulgarian colleague Galab Donev in a phone call on Friday committed to a peaceful and safe celebration of the birth anniversary of Goce Delcev on February 4, yesterday the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivan Demerdzhiev visited the country, and after the meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Oliver Spasovski said that no incident will be allowed at the commemoration set to be held on Saturday and that the Macedonian police is taking all the necessary measures in that direction. Meanwhile, the US urged Bulgaria and Macedonia to de-escalate their rhetoric and quickly resolve bilateral disputes.

The US State Department told Voice of America when asked to comment on Bulgaria’s decision to withdraw the Bulgarian ambassador from Skopje.

The future of Macedonia is in the EU. The US continues to support the country’s full-fledged Euro-Atlantic integration, the State Department said in a statement.

Bulgaria withdrew its ambassador last week after the attack on the secretary of the Bulgarian club “Boris the Third” in Ohrid.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov then announced that their ambassador will remain in Sofia until, as he said, progress is registered in relation to the treatment of Macedonian citizens with Bulgarian self-awareness in Macedonia.

The Macedonian MFA, on the other hand, told MIA last night that the Bulgarian ambassador is, however, returning to his diplomatic duties in Skopje in full capacity.

Currently, as Prime Minister Kovacevski says, there is no announcement for an official visit of a delegation from Bulgaria to celebrate the birth of Goce Delcev, but he points out that there is still time until Saturday.

Kovacevski stressed yesterday that provocations by individuals, who have a name and a surname and who are sanctioned according to the laws in our country cannot be a basis and cannot represent a basis to consider that our entire country or our institutions have such a relationship.

We are a country that has raised to the highest level the realization of the rights of citizens who self-determine in a different way than the Macedonians, who are the most numerous in the country. For that we have institutions, for that, we have a constitutional arrangement, for that, we have a series of laws that no country in Europe has. It is something we can be proud of, Kovacevski said.

On the other hand, Kovacevski pointed out, Bulgaria is in the midst of elections and there are politicians who, with nationalism and populism, want to make a political profit, that is, to get more votes for the next elections in Bulgaria, the same thing happens in our country when we are in elections. However, they cannot be the basis for building relations between the two states.

He said that the citizens can be calm and honor the birth anniversary of the hero and great man of the Macedonian revolutionary struggle Goce Delcev with dignity.

Regarding the tensions, Kovacevski said that they were caused by individuals and groups who are against Macedonia’s European path and who are against the region’s integration into the EU.

The ministers of internal affairs of Macedonia and Bulgaria, Oliver Spasovski and Ivan Demerdzhiev, promised that no incident would be allowed during the celebration of the birth anniversary of the Macedonian revolutionary Goce Delcev on February 4.

This is in conditions of increased tensions and various announcements about the disruption of public order and peace. We want to send a clear message that no incident will be allowed, the Macedonian police are taking all actions and absolutely no incident must be allowed. That is to say, we will ensure the honoring that befits our great Goce Delcev. Thanks to my counterpart from Bulgaria for the clear and strong message that our friendship between the two countries and the two peoples will continue and we will jointly contribute to the stability of the two countries and the region, said Spasovski after the meeting.

Demerdzhiev promised that he will make sure that the Bulgarian citizens who will arrive in Skopje will not cause provocations.

We had a fruitful working meeting on all issues related to safe and peaceful honoring. Spasovski assured me that all security measures will be taken. I, on the other hand, confirmed that I will take all measures so that the people who will come from Bulgaria do not allow provocations or disturbance of the peace. We have come to an agreement that we have a duty not to allow some people to light a fire where there is none. The goal is to pay respect to a historical person like Goce Delcev and not to make it a ground for radical and pseudo-national calculations. Spasovski assured me that the case with Pendikov will be completely cleared up. The goal is to have prevention and not allow such cases in the future. Because such incidents disturb our relations which are at a high level. I handed over to my counterpart Spasovski documents from the case about the received threats on Pendikov’s life while he was in the hospital and the culprits will be held accountable before the law, said Demerdzhiev.

The vice president of VMRO-DPMNE Aleksandar Nikoloski said last night that the party is for a dignified celebration of the birth anniversary of Goce Delcev.

I expect that on February 4 there will be a dignified manifestation, a dignified celebration of the birth anniversary of Goce Delcev, said Nikoloski.