Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that he finds the Bulgarian position that Macedonia should honor historic figures like Goce Delcev jointly with Bulgaria to be justified. Zaev also said that he doesn’t expect that Bulgaria will block Macedonia from opening EU accession talks.

I will say it once again – the identity issues, the Macedonian language, the Macedonian people, are part of the right to self-determination. Bulgaria is a European country and I believe that our talks are because of their ambition and justified desire to jointly honor Goce Delcev. I don’t expect to have any obstacles in that part because definitely from the start up to today Bulgaria was one of the greatest, if not the greatest supporter of the Republic of “North” Macedonia in our EU integrations. The Bulgarian people want to help the Macedonian people and the Macedonian people want to be friendly positioned toward the Bulgarian people, Zaev said.

Bulgaria has threatened to block the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia unless Macedonian historians in the joint committee set up under the 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty agree that historical figures like Goce Delcev were Bulgarians. Bulgaria has followed up on this with a stern memorandum sent to the European Union listing numerous other demands that are likely to come in the future. Zaev expect to meet with Borisov this month to discuss the issue.