The Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Saturday on Radio Kanal 77 said that he does not regret what he said in the interview for the Bulgarian BGNES news agency, noting that the interview was intended for the Bulgarian public.

We will always be a side that takes friendly steps that open perspectives for mutual relations with our neighbors, including Bulgaria, but at the expense of that we will never bring our identity and dignity that will never be negotiated, and that is our identity as Macedonians who speak Macedonian, he said.

He added that when the administration in Bulgaria, the then government in Bulgaria, decided to join the Third Reich, they did not ask the people. Instead of “Bulgarian fascist occupier”, “Bulgarian fascist hand”, we should replace them with “fascist”, he said.

Leaders need to lead, I do not regret what I said. I know I am taking the first steps in building a friendship. Let me be clear: the interview was given to work positively in Bulgaria. Borisov is also often criticized at home because he speaks openly about the Macedonian people and language. Leaders do not calculate and do not put their political career first, said Zaev.

I understand the citizens and their reactions, but the leaders are here to solve difficult issues. I am taking friendly steps that open up perspectives, in our case, European perspectives and the future, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the channels of communication with the Republic of Bulgaria are constantly open and intensive discussions are being held on the issues that have been raised and are being raised as an obstacle to the agreement on the adoption of the negotiating framework for Macedonia for the start of EU membership negotiations.

We are talking about hate speech, we are talking about the roadmap for the implementation of the Agreement between the two countries. We need to achieve more in terms of economic cooperation, to encourage much more than what has been achieved so far, and it is not a little. We have investments from our companies in Bulgaria. We have 13 investments from Bulgaria, including the latest ones that have shown interest in investing in energy, said Prime Minister Zaev.

He said he would call for a leaders’ meeting after completing this chapter of negotiations with Bulgaria.

As soon as the negotiations with Bulgaria, this chapter of talks, are over, successful or unsuccessful, I will call for a leaders’ meeting. Nowhere in Europe are leaders’ meetings held in the midst of talks, said Zaev.