Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani congratulated to Bulgaria on its national holiday even though it celebrates the creation of San Stefano Bulgaria in 1878 – which was meant to include Macedonia within its border.

The Greater Bulgaria project was promoted by Russia at the time as a victorious Russia dictated terms to the Ottoman Empire after their war. Even though the plan was overturned with the interference of other great powers, and the San Stefano Bulgaria never materialized, modern Bulgaria celebrates March 3rd as its liberation day.

Sincere congratulations to my colleague Ekaterina Zaharieva on the national holiday of Bulgaria. We consider our relationship to be very important and we are dedicated to working to further strengthen our neighborly relations, Osmani said in his message to Zaharieva.

Congratulating Bulgaria on this day is a controversial issue in Macedonia, as San Stefano Bulgaria would’ve certainly meant having no Macedonian state. San Stefano Bulgaria was also planned to include other major Turkish holdings in the Balkans, including land which is now under Greek rule.