The Macedonian-Bulgarian dispute can be resolved only if the dignity of both the Macedonian and the Bulgarian people is respected, and by avoiding the dangerous trap of historical revisionism when it is based on political constructions instead of facts, said President Stevo Pendarovski in an interview with Deutche Welle, following the views expressed by Prime Minister Zaev in Wednesday’s shocking interview with the Bulgarian BGNES agency.
I watched the interview of the Prime Minister and read the reactions of the Macedonian public, and in some of the comments, unfortunately, there was a dilemma whether the state leadership takes unified stance in relation to this vital national issue. Resolving disputes of strategic importance requires two preconditions: to have the political will, which sometimes means political courage to reach a consensus that never raises your rating, and second – to stick to internationally verified historical facts and to political a reality that is obvious. In the first part, our public knows that I am the first Macedonian politician in history to publicly offer a broader political discourse regarding one of the greatest apostles of the Macedonian revolutionary movement. However, I did not go further, because it is the work of a Commission composed of historians, and not the work of politicians. We have discussed this topic with Prime Minister Zaev many times and we have never had a dispute that some personalities and events can be celebrated on both sides, but that the Macedonian people have their own history, just as the Bulgarian people have their own. At the same time, in all my public appearances I clearly say that the anti-fascist struggle is built into the foundations of the modern Macedonian state and in that struggle, we fought against those who were on the side of the fascists. My 20-year experience in international politics allows me to accurately measure the words and views I express when talking to my Bulgarian interlocutors and our friends from the international community. And I clearly tell each of them that the Macedonian-Bulgarian dispute can be resolved only if the dignity of both the Macedonian and the Bulgarian people is respected and by avoiding the dangerous trap of historical revisionism when it is based on political constructions instead of facts, said Pendarovski.