The opening of EU accession talks remains our strategic priority and I emphasize that what I believe is clear to Brussels that bilateral issues have no place in the negotiating framework, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at Friday’s joint press conference with US Acting Assistant Secretary Philip Reeker. Zaev announced that he continues to look for a way to resolve the dispute with Bulgaria.

Macedonia will not back down from finding a mutually acceptable solution with the Republic of Bulgaria, based on European values and standards. We are committed to working in good faith on the implementation of the Friendship and Good Neighborliness Agreement in all areas of common interest, including the committee on historical and educational issues. But there are some issues that really are not up for negotiations. Brussels should honestly face the situation for EU’s further enlargement in the Western Balkans and be able to announce that solution by the EU Summit for the Western Balkans, which is to be held this autumn. We have the support of the United States in this regard and that is of paramount importance. Now more than ever we are unanimous that the promotion of regional cooperation is inevitable for the Europeanization of the Balkans, Zaev said.